Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley recently added that under the 23:59 lightening restrictions, the “vast majority of people who come in contact” with a COVID-19 case in the community will not have to quarantine.
Instead, they will only have to isolate until they receive a negative test result.
“They will have to get a standard PCR test and isolate until they get those negative results,” Mr. Foley said.
“That means whether it’s an office, a restaurant or a nightclub, any of those areas, you don’t automatically have to quarantine.
“As long as you get that negative, you’re allowed to do your normal lifestyle.”
The Health Minister said the health department will continue to monitor emerging epidemics of COVID-19, and authorities are still waiting to see that some areas have an outbreak disproportionate to others.
These changes mark a significant change in policy. According to the existing rules in NSW, a fully vaccinated close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 must isolate itself for a full seven days from exposure and be immediately tested. They must also be re-tested on the sixth day.
If the sixth day is negative, fully vaccinated close contacts may come out of retirement after completing the full seven days of isolation. But over the next seven days they must limit their movements, work from home where possible and avoid high-risk settings including health care, nursing care, disability care, early childhood centers, elementary schools and correctional facilities. They should be tested again on day 12.
People who are unvaccinated in NSW should be isolated for the full 14 days if they are in close contact with a confirmed coronavirus case and are immediately tested. They must be tested again on the sixth and 12th days. They are allowed to leave self-isolation after 14 days if the test on day 12 is negative, they feel well and have had no further contact with the COVID positive person.
The rules for casual contacts in NSW are also different. Informal contact of a COVID-positive person should be tested for the virus immediately and isolate themselves until receiving a negative result.
They should also be tested on day 6 after their last contact with the person. If they feel well, they do not need to isolate while waiting for this result, but must continue monitoring symptoms for 14 days and re-tested if they appear.