Why are states easing close contact restrictions when there are still so many COVID cases?

Five Australian jurisdictions have now scrapped quarantine rules for close contacts of COVID-19 cases, moving instead to regular testing requirements and mask rules.

This comes as most states are recording thousands of cases daily, with more than 50,000 cases recorded nationwide yesterday.

So why are the rules changing?

We have moved into a new phase of the pandemic

Prime Minister Scott Morrison pointed this out after the last national cabinet meeting, held in March.

“Australia has largely moved into Phase D of the national plan, with states and territories and the Commonwealth looking to remove remaining restrictions in the coming months, subject to continued public health advice,” it said. he declares.

He also outlined the “winter preparedness and response” plan, which aims to deal with COVID cases and the flu during the colder months.

The national cabinet has agreed to take action to include removing close contacts to be isolated, removing PCR testing for healthy people with mild respiratory illness, promoting voluntary self-isolation for symptomatic people and the emphasis on personal responsibility.

The next national cabinet meeting won’t take place until June — after the federal election.

What is “Phase D”?

This is the “final phase” in a document titled “National Transition Plan for Australia’s National Response to COVID-19”.

But, more importantly, is the post-vaccination phase.

Australia’s high vaccination rate means we are coming to the end of the conclusion of the national COVID plan. (Provided: WA Health)

Nationally, more than 95% of people aged 16 and over have received two doses of the vaccine.

And more than 69% of the eligible population received at least one booster injection.

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