National Cabinet has agreed to end mandatory isolation requirements for COVID-19 effective 14 October, with each jurisdiction implementing the change via relevant public health legislation.
With this decision comes the end of the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment effective on the same date.
However, to protect the most vulnerable and those in high-risk settings, the National Cabinet agreed to continue targeted financial support for casual workers, on the same basis as the PLDP.
1- Workers in aged care,
2- disability care,
3- aboriginal healthcare
4- and hospital care sectors.
The new payment will be funded 50:50 between the Commonwealth and States and Territories, with final details including eligibility and compliance to be released by Services Australia.
These arrangements will be reviewed at the December meeting of the National Cabinet.
The Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer provided an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. On which Prime Minister Anthony Albanese along with Premiers and Chief Ministers discussed a nationally consistent approach to transition Australia’s COVID-19 response on the basis of the following principles:
- minimising the level of severe COVID-19 and death, including through ensuring measures are effective, proportionate and targeted wherever possible for the most vulnerable and at risk populations;
- ensuring the health, economic and social systems as a whole have the capacity and capability to respond to future waves;
- promoting and creating an environment that mitigates pandemic fatigue and generates self-reliance, resilience and capacity building which reduces the reliance on government interventions;
- continue to promote the importance of vaccinations, including boosters, to improve health outcomes;
- supporting the economic and social well-being of those living in Australia; and
- returning funding and policy efforts to a more sustainable footing, including for business and individual support, aged care and health funding.
Improving care pathways
National Cabinet considered advice from First Secretaries on improving care pathways for patients and addressing pressures on the health and hospital system.
Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed to further work, with policy options to be considered in the context of each jurisdiction’s budget processes.