Paid pandemic leave is being made available to all Australian states and territories

The federal government has offered all states and territories a $1,500 payment for workers to stay at home while isolation because of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks in Canberra on Monday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has offered federal pandemic leave pay to all the states. (AAP)

The Morrison government will allow other states and territories to join Victoria in accessing $1,500 pandemic payments for workers without sick leave.

Victorian workers will be able to access the payment designed to give workers the financial capability to stay home while isolating.

Unions and Labor have called for a national scheme to prevent outbreaks driven by people going to work when sick or waiting for test results.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there was an option for other states to receive the money.

"If other states or territories want to enter into a similar arrangement, then I'll be making that offer to the states and territories if they wish to do that," he told Seven's Sunrise program on Wednesday.

"Of course, they are not facing the same level of challenge. The health advice we had out of Victoria was to do this."

Under a federal-state agreement, the Commonwealth pays for Australian residents and citizens while the Victorian government picks up the bill for short-term visa holders.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston encouraged premiers and chief ministers to ask the federal to join the scheme if their situation warrants it.

"If other states and territories want to avail themselves of the same service then please come forward," she told Sky News.

"We're very open to discussions with them."

The federal opposition argues the government has been too slow to act, finally moving on pandemic leave five months after it was first called for.

"The point of paid pandemic leave, and why we've been calling for it for some time, was to prevent community transmission," Labor leader Anthony Albanese said.

"No one should be in a circumstance whereby they feel compelled to go to work because they don't have other options of financial support."

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am. During the curfew, people in Melbourne can only leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.

Between 5am and 8pm, people in Melbourne can leave the home for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative. The full list of restrictions can be found here.

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.


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Published 5 August 2020 at 11:24am, updated 5 August 2020 at 11:31am
Source: AAP -SBS