Victoria and NSW have announced huge overhauls of their Covid rules, with both states making one big change to isolation orders for household contacts.
Victoria and NSW have scrapped their remaining Covid rules, with household contacts no longer needing to isolate.
The major shift comes as both states are believed to have passed the peak of their latest Omicron surges.
Current rules mandate that anyone who lives with a positive coronavirus case must isolate at home for seven days after a positive test is recorded.
The changes will come into effect for Victoria on Friday at 11.59pm and 6pm on the same day in NSW.
In Victoria, household contacts will have to wear a mask indoors and avoid sensitive settings.
Household contacts will also need to carry out five rapid antigen tests over the course of the seven days that they previously would have been in isolation.
People who contract Covid will still need to isolate for a week.
Masks will no longer be required in primary schools.
The lockout of unvaccinated Victorians will also come to an end as people won’t be required to show their vaccination status before entering venues.
All visitor restrictions in hospitals will be removed, except for mask requirements, with health services able to tailor their own settings based on their own circumstances.
The NSW government announced similar rule changes about the same time.
Premier Dominic Perrottet made the announcement on Wednesday, with mask requirements on public transport one of the only restrictions to remain.
Household contacts of positive cases will not need to isolate for seven days.
These include close contacts not visiting aged care, hospitals, disability, and correctional facilities unless they receive an exemption.
Close contacts will need to wear a mask indoors when outside their home and take a rapid test before seeing people not in their household.
Mr Perrottet said the changes came after a “very difficult two years” for people across NSW.
“I want to emphasise that obviously the pandemic isn’t over. There is a long way to go but we’ve made changes in consultation with the business community and union representatives,” he said.
“And because of the efforts that everyone has made we’re able today to make some further changes.”
The imminent overhaul comes in response to pressure on state governments in both Victoria and NSW to relax their Covid rules.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews hinted on Tuesday that the rules could soon change.
“The seven-day average, very pleasingly, is coming down,” he said.
“I’m not the chief health officer but that says to me that the peak has come and gone.
“We just have to wait and see, though, that those few days of data turns into the trend that we hope it is.”
Covid cases in NSW have fallen to an average of 14,000 daily infections, with 1600 people in hospital.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee last week called for Covid restrictions to be relaxed.
Some industries are already exempt from some isolation rules, such as aviation and airport workers.