Australia is to end mandatory isolation for people with Covid-19.
Those who test positive will no longer be required to isolate for five days, the Cabinet ruled on Friday, lifting one of the country's last major coronavirus restrictions. The ruling will come into effect on October 14.
“We want a policy that promotes resilience and capacity-building and reduces a reliance on government intervention,” Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a media briefing to announce the country’s move “away from Covid exceptionalism”.
“We wanted to make sure that we have measures which are proportionate and that are targeted at the most vulnerable.”
He said the government would continue to promote vaccination, including booster shoots, as “absolutely critical”.
Health care workers will still be required to isolate if they test positive, however.
Targeted financial support will continue for workers in elderly care, disability care, Aboriginal health care and hospital care sectors, Mr Albanese said.
Australia imposed some of the world's toughest restrictions to curb the virus as it took hold in early 2020. The southern city of Melbourne became known for the world’s longest lockdown, shutting down six times over the course of the pandemic.
The country has recorded more than 10 million cases and almost 15,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
It lifted the last remaining travel restrictions in July, with travellers arriving in the country no longer required to show proof of vaccination.