The requirement for confirmed COVID cases to be tested on day six before leaving the isolation has been scrapped, less than 24 hours after it was approved by the National Cabinet.
Following the crisis meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Thursday afternoon that confirmed cases would need to receive a rapid antigen test on day six if they were asymptomatic before leaving their isolation week.
But on Friday afternoon, just 22 hours after the counseling, this day-six test rule for confirmed cases was scrapped.
“After further consultation with the chief physician and health chiefs, executives have also agreed to remove the requirement for day six rapid antigen tests for confirmed cases in isolation,” a statement said.
“If confirmed cases remain symptomatic, they should remain in isolation.
“Anyone with symptoms will continue to seek out a PCR test.”
The National Cabinet also agreed on Thursday to narrow the definition of close contact to a person who has been in a household or household-like environment – such as elderly care – for more than four hours with a confirmed infection.
These people will be required to isolate themselves for a week and get a quick antigen test on day six if they have no symptoms. However, if this rapid test gives a positive result, they should have a PCR test.
If they have symptoms, they should get a PCR test instead of the rapid antigen test.
The new national definition was adopted in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and ACT from midnight, while Tasmania will bring it into force from Saturday.
The further easing of test requirements comes as a number of clinics in Sydney have closed so far to ease the backlog of results.
NSW recorded a massive 21,151 cases of COVID on Friday, Victoria measured 5,919 infections and Queensland achieved 3,118 positive results.