Mandatory vaccines, tighter quarantine controls considered by Australian leaders

Australian states and territories held crisis talks on Monday amid growing conerns about COVID outbreaks. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Australian leaders are expected to mandate Covid vaccinations for aged care workers and introduce stricter controls for international quarantine facilities under tight new pandemic directives discussed in national cabinet crisis talks.

State and territory leaders met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday afternoon to discuss new measures to combat the spread of the highly infectious Delta strain, which is currently plaguing multiple Australian jurisdictions.

Cabinet is expected to agree to mandating vaccinations for all aged care workers, as well as vaccinating and testing all quarantine workers and their household contacts.

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It’s also anticipated there will be bans on accommodating international quarantine arrivals – including highly infectious and high-risk people – next to lower-risk domestic arrivals.

This could be done be separating the groups into different accommodation or floors.

Chief medical officer Paul Kelly will also brief the states and territories on outbreaks across the nation, with Lieutenant-General John Frewen to update cabinet on the vaccine rollout and stock.

New cases have been reported in Queensland, the Northern Territory, NSW and Western Australia.

Parts of the NT have entered a 48-hour lockdown after five new cases were linked to a worker at a mine in Central Australia.

WA and Queensland have also tightened restrictions after reporting new cases, while Greater Sydney began a two-week lockdown from 6pm on Saturday.

More to come.

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