(NSW Premier Dominic Perrote - file photo)

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet foreshadowed that the lifting of isolation rules for close contacts would allow the state to continue to move forward out of the pandemic.

He stated: "As the pandemic has evolved so has our response and this is another example where we have been able to make necessary changes safely and in a measured way.”

Effective today, April 22, 2022, COVID-19 isolation rules for close contacts will be scrapped in New South Wales today, along with changes to vaccine requirements for key workers.

From 6pm tonight close contacts of a COVID case will no longer have to isolate for seven days. 

However, close contacts will have to take a daily rapid antigen test (RAT) and wear a face mask indoors before having contact with people outside their household.

In addition, NSW Health maintains that close contacts still can't visit aged care, hospitals, disability or correctional facilities unless there's a special exemption in place, and should work from home if it's doable.

It also warns close contacts should avoid contact with elderly and immunocompromised persons.

Another important change today is the lifting of public health orders that require key workforces to be vaccinated — instead, requirements will be based on risk assessments under occupational work health and safety.  However, aged care and disability workers must still be vaccinated.

These changes will mean the critical worker exemptions from isolation rules will no longer be required.

However, close contacts will still need to comply with any COVID-19 safety measures that have been put in place in their workplace by employers.

Other changes coming into effect from April 30 remove the requirement for unvaccinated international returning travellers to stay in hotel quarantine.

That means all returning travellers now have the same requirements — to undertake a RAT within 24 hours of arriving and comply with NSW Health guidelines.

In the meantime, today it was announced that Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has tested positive to Covid despite strict measures to protect him from the virus, resulting in his federal election campaign getting into chaos. Labor frontbencher Jason Clare is acting spokesman for the Opposition while Albanese is on isolation.

Today’s figures showed cases down 2,000 from yesterday; in hospital/ICU down a few. Compared to last Friday, April 15 the figure is down about 100.


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