The New South Wales and Victorian government have announced that close contacts to a COVID-19 case will no longer be required to isolate for seven days from 22 April at 11:59pm in Victoria and 6pm in NSW.

It is welcome news for operators within the hospitality industry, who have experienced staff shortages since the surge in COVID-19 cases brought on by the Omicron variant.

In New South Wales, those considered close contacts can leave isolation as long as they show no symptoms, take daily rapid antigen tests and wear a mask indoors.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that vaccine mandates for some key workforces will also be dropped.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley outlined that close contacts in Victoria will be required to wear a mask indoors and take “five rapid antigen tests over the course of the seven days that they previously would have been in isolation.”

Additionally, Victorians will be exempt from isolating for twelve weeks if they have previously had COVID-19 up from the current eight weeks.

The Minister also announced further easing of restrictions for venues in Victoria.

“People won’t be required to have two doses or show their vaccination status before entering venues,” he says.

“The requirement for staff and patrons of venues to check in using the Services Vic App will end and operators will not be required to maintain attendance records or a check in marshal.”

Workplaces no longer have to identify or notify potentially exposed staff but individuals have to inform workplace contacts as well as social contacts.

In Western Australia, strict proof of vaccination mandates and mask wearing is still currently in place and Deputy Premier Roger Cook has stated that there will be no rush with relaxing restrictions.

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