Dec 22, 2021: ‘Stay calm, get your booster and use your common sense’: PM Scott Morrison has outlined a number of responses to the current situation around Omicron.

The PM announced that each state and territory will still be responsible for providing specific regulations, in line with general guidance from the Australian government in three key areas:

Public health orders

Vaccination program (including boosters)

TTIQ (Test, Trace, Isolate, Quarantine)

Public health rules:

  • Mask wearing in all indoor public spaces is highly recommended. Whether mask-wearing is mandated is a decision for each state and territory.

  • Social distancing is encouraged, maximising gatherings outside as much as possible

Vaccination program

  • More than 50% of people eligible for boosters have already had them, but more need to follow as quickly as possible

  • Payments to GPs and pharmacies to administer boosters will be increased in order to support the number of vaccines available over the holiday period

  • ATAGI will decide if the booster period should be shortened, but no decision date has been confirmed at this point

  • 5-11 year olds will be eligible for vaccinations as previously announced, on January 10, 2022

TTIQ (Test, Trace, Isolate, Quarantine)

  • A common definition of ‘close and casual contacts’ is being developed, with a clear recommendation in the next fortnight

  • PCR tests will be recommended only for close contacts or for people who are symptomatic, rather than for people looking to travel, in order to relieve pressure on testing clinics. Further guidance on the use of Rapid Antigen Tests is likely to follow.

For more information on each state and territory:

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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