COVID back on national agenda

National Cabinet met on Saturday to discuss Australia’s continued response to COVID-19 and agreements were reached to extend a number of important initiatives.

Acting SA Premier Susan Close said as National Cabinet continued to work together to address issues and find solutions for the health and economic consequences of COVID-19, leaders reiterated the importance of Australians over 30, especially those in vulnerable groups, to get their fourth COVID-19 vaccination.

“As we continue to adjust to living with COVID-19, South Australia has agreed to partner 50:50 with the Albanese Government to extend Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment until 30 September 2022,” she said.

“This will ensure that those South Australians we are asking to isolate do not suffer a financial penalty for doing the right thing.”

Minister Close said it was also agreed to have temporary longer telehealth consultations to prescribe antivirals (GPs find it difficult to conduct a proper COVID antivirals consultation in under 20 minutes), examine extending ADF support to the aged-care sector which is due to end on August 12.

In addition, the State Government will step in from August 1 and provide free access to RATs until September 30 to Commonwealth Seniors, Low Income Health Care, Health Care, Pensioner Concession and Department of Veterans Affairs concession card holders.

These concession card holders will be entitled to collect up to 10 free RATs over a three-month period with a maximum of five in a month at over 50 collection points currently distributing free RATs to close contacts.

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