Australia National Cabinet to discuss next stage of vaccine rollout, home isolation for COVID-vaccinated travellers
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With three of the country's capital cities and half the national population in lockdown, state and territory leaders will meet this afternoon to discuss the current outbreaks, as well as the next stages of the vaccine rollout.
This week's National Cabinet comes after the New South Wales government introduced further restrictions for some residents, South Australia began a week-long lockdown and Victoria had its extended for a week.
There has also been a fresh wave of border closures.and .
The outbreaks around the country are high on the agenda, as is the state of the vaccine rollout.
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The group will discuss the federal government's "COVID Shield Plan", which is expected to detail how the rollout will work once more mRNA vaccines are delivered.
Australia is set to receive millions of doses of Pfizer's vaccine, the one recommended for people under 40, and Moderna's, which is not yet approved, in the last quarter of the year.
Yesterday,and later reiterated he hoped that people under 40 would become eligible for the vaccine in September, and that everyone who wanted to have a vaccine would have the opportunity by the end of the year.
"In September, that's when it's designed for people under 40 to get access to Pfizer," he said.
"But what I'm telling you is the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved by the therapeutic goods administration to be available for people aged 18 and above."
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Home quarantine up for discussion
Jane Halton, who conducted the government's review into hotel quarantine nearly a year ago, has been asked to update her report and is expected to provide her opinion on the concept of home isolation for vaccinated travellers.
South Australia has agreed to run a pilot program where it will allowfor two weeks, instead of in hotel quarantine.
If successful, it is expected the model will be used in other jurisdictions.
The group of state and territory leaders will also be updated on the National Freight Code — which was introduced last year to manage how freight can still get between states during border closures — the business support payments and where the caps on international arrivals are up to.
Earlier this month,, with the changes to be in effect by July 14.
Vaccination requirement likely at Australian workplaces at high risk of COVID-19 transmission, experts say .
The US will require federal employees to declare they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or otherwise face restrictions. And some say high-risk workplaces in Australia might follow suit.The Biden administration announced on Friday that federal employees would have to provide a declaration that they had been vaccinated or else would have to be regularly tested and abide by strict mask-wearing and social distancing policies.