Mandatory COVID isolation period ends

Australians who test positive to COVID-19 will no longer have to isolate, with mandatory stay-at-home orders officially scrapped today.

Oct 14, 2022, updated Oct 14, 2022
Professor Nicola Spurrier addresses the media regarding the scrapping of mandatory isolation rules. Photo: Jason Katsaras/InDaily

Professor Nicola Spurrier addresses the media regarding the scrapping of mandatory isolation rules. Photo: Jason Katsaras/InDaily

But South Australians who test positive will still be required to report their rapid antigen test result to SA Health.

“We want to keep a good assessment of what the COVID cases are in the community,” Health Minister Chris Picton told reporters on Thursday.

“It also enables SA Health to make sure that we can provide that person with information in terms of how to protect themselves, particularly to get access to antiviral medication when they need it.”

Picton also announced that vaccination mandates for employees in hospitals, aged care and disability settings would remain in place temporarily in a bid to give employers more time to draft their own policies and procedures.

The state’s chief public health officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, said she had no doubt the community would be able to take individual responsibility.

“There’s been such a fantastic response throughout the pandemic with people following health advice,” she said.

“Quite often we didn’t have things as legal directions and people still did them, I am very confident that will continue over the next month.”

The requirement for COVID-positive people to isolate for five days officially ended at 12.01am today.

Spurrier said SA Health’s PCR testing sites would remain open to ensure people can get a referral for oral antiviral drugs if they are eligible.

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“We need to make sure all people who are eligible for oral antivirals can get a PCR test, and we need to make sure that’s equitable,” she said.

“There are some parts of South Australia … where there’s not necessarily a GP around to do a referral, so we’re working through a transition plan.”

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, who led the campaign to ditch isolation rules, believes people will continue to register their COVID-19 diagnoses.

“We’re moving to a system of good faith where people are looking out for each other and caring for each other,” he told reporters.

“I just want to make the point … people should still test.

“We may have further waves of COVID in the future, in fact, we probably expect that. So by testing, you’re looking after yourself, looking after your family.”

The Australian Medical Association wants the government to consider bringing back COVID isolation requirements if cases spike during the holiday period.

President Steve Robson said information from the northern hemisphere showed the newer variants won’t be affected by immunity from previous infection or from vaccinations.

Australia recorded 36,790 COVID cases and more than 270 deaths last week.

-with AAP

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