COVID-19 Update: New close contact definition rejected by South Australia

Prime Minister Scott Morrison holds a National Cabinet meeting in Canberra, 30 December. Source: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

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.

COVID-19 Stats:

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.

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