Australia to end mandatory Covid isolationon September 30, 2022 at 2:39 am

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After enforcing some of world’s toughest rules, Australia will no longer force people to stay at home.

A sign saying 'Please stay home' beside a beachImage source, Getty Images

Australia will end enforcing mandatory Covid isolation from next month, the government has said.

Currently anyone who tests positive to the virus must isolate for five days, but that will end from 14 October.

At times nicknamed “Fortress Australia”, the country has had some of the strictest restrictions in the world since the pandemic began.

Mandatory isolation had been one of the few restrictions remaining.

Australia’s chief medical officer, Professor Paul Kelly, said the decision “does not in any way suggest that the pandemic is finished”.

Australia continues to record about 5,500 virus cases each day, according to the latest government figures. It is one of the world’s most vaccinated countries.

“We will almost certainly see future peaks of the virus into the future, as we have seen earlier in this year. However, at the moment, we have very low rates of both cases, hospitalisations, intensive care admissions, aged-care outbreaks,” Prof Kelly said.

After the pandemic began, Australia closed international borders for around two years and imposed strict limits on movement around the country.

About 15,000 people have died with the virus in Australia, the vast majority of them in 2022 after the country opened up.

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