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McManus appeared on ABC News this morning, discussing the Unions’ list of demands to the federal government.

She said changing the definition of a “close contact” to someone who has spent four hours in a household with a confirmed Covid case was “really crazy”:

Working people might be spending eight hours with someone who is Covid-positive and they are no longer considered a close contact…those people who have worked next to someone for a really long time and aren’t included in that definition of “close contact” no longer get isolation payments. So if you run out of sick leave or if you never had any in the first place, it means you are stuck with nothing during that period of time. So this is, I hope, just an oversight, but an oversight the prime minister has made and it has got to be fixed.

We are told to live with the virus, but the idea was not for everyone to get sick at once and this is what has happened unfortunately. Health care workers, whether they be ambos or whether they be in the emergency departments, or in the hospitals are absolutely exhausted, absolutely exhausted. It is mayhem for them and extremely stressful. And it is very, very anxious time for people who are sick.

The measures that change requirements for close contacts which have been announced are very welcome because they put capacity back in the system, but it’s still going to be a very tight situation.

The decision by Queensland, NSW and Victoria will put fruit and veg back on shelves in those states, the national guidelines go a long way to a nationally consistent approach. Other states won’t see disruption to supply in the same way as it’s been seen in Sydney.

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