Mask rules are set to be relaxed in Australia’s three biggest states, with authorities also considering removing isolation requirements for household contacts of Covid-19 cases as part of a “big shift” towards living with the virus.
The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced that from 11:59pm on Friday, the public health recommendation for Victorians to work or study from home will be removed and masks will only be required in certain settings including public transport, hospitals and primary schools, and for workers in hospitality, retail and large events.
It aligns with a similar plan which will take effect in New South Wales from Friday.
“We’re going to a situation on Friday where there are essentially no Covid rules, or so few that it’s unrecognisable to what it was a year ago, and indeed what it was two years ago,” Andrews said on Tuesday.
The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, also said her government would relax the requirement to wear masks in most indoor settings, from 6pm on 4 March.
She told parliament the state was now confident that the peak of the Omicron wave had passed.