This is your update on the Coronavirus in Australia for 31 December 2021.
- The federal government has removed the need for confirmed COVID-19 cases to take a day six rapid antigen test before ending their isolation period.
State leaders have agreed on a new definition of ‘close contact’ now in effect in New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and Queensland.
Tasmania is set to follow the new definition from January 1; Western Australia and the Northern Territory will make announcements in the coming days while South Australia rejects the new rules.
‘Close contact‘ is now defined as someone who lives with – or has been in a ‘household-like’ environment with – a confirmed COVID-19 case for at least four hours.
Contradicting yesterday’s announcement, South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer says close contacts will include anyone who has spent more than 15 minutes with a positive case.
In most states close contacts must isolate for seven days and take a rapid antigen test on day six; in South Australia the isolation period remains at 10 days.
- NSW announced that Close Contacts should still take a PCR test "as soon as possible" after exposure.
Tasmania will drop PCR testing for interstate travellers from January 1.
A COVID-positive child under the age of two has died in South Australia although cause of death is yet to be determined.
Australia reaches another milestone with 90 per cent of people over the age of 16 double vaccinated.
The price of rapid antigen test kits is soaring as stock levels drop, with reports of one Sydney pharmacy charging $25 for a single test.
New South Wales has recorded 21,151 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths, while Victoria has reported 5,919 new infections and seven deaths.
Queensland has reported 3,118 cases, and 137 infections have been recorded in Tasmania.
For measures currently in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in your language, visit here.
Quarantine and restrictions state by state
There are changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment once states reach 70 and 80 per cent fully vaccinated: Getting help during Covid-19 from Services Australia in language
- News and information over 60 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus
- Relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania.
- Information about the COVID-19 vaccine in your language.