Australia’s COVID Iso Rules & Mask Mandates Have Changed So Here’s Everything You Need To Know

woman throwing blue surgical mask in bin

Australia’s COVID isolation rules have had yet another major shakeup, with National Cabinet agreeing to cut the mandatory iso period completely.

Well, fuck.

So here’s your explainer on all the current isolation and mask rules.

What is the new mandatory COVID-19 isolation period?

In late August, mandatory iso was reduced to five days. And from October 14, there will be no mandatory COVID-19 isolation period.

Workers in high-risk sectors may need to isolate still, per 9News.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet previously called for reducing isolation from seven to five days, pushing for all states and territories to have a consistent approach in their isolation requirements.

Similarly, he led calls for an end to mandatory iso.

What about pandemic leave disaster payments?

PM Anthony Albanese confirmed pandemic leave disaster payments would also stop for the bulk of people. Federal, state and territory governments’ll continue providing some targeted financial support for workers in aged care, disability care, hospital care and Aboriginal health care.

Albanese described previous COVID measures as “emergency” ones.

“We have agreed today, based upon the advice, that we are moving beyond the emergency settings that were put in place,” he said, per the ABC.

“It isn’t sustainable for the government to pay people’s wages forever.”

What about mask mandates in each state and territory?

At the moment, all states and territories have lifted mask mandates for public transport.

Each state and territory has slightly different rules about where you do still have to wear masks, particularly in high risk settings. Some also require masks for close contacts of COVID cases or people who are waiting on COVID-19 tests.

The government’s Health Direct site has a breakdown of the specific mask mandates for each state and territory if you want to check the deets.

Mandatory mask wearing on domestic flights and mask wearing on international flights into Aus were also scrapped back in September.

So in short: a lot of huge updates there. And despite the rules changing, it’s still a great idea to stay home and mask up if you’re sick.