As cases of Covid-19 continue to climb throughout winter, the Government has announced that the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment will be reinstated till 30 September 2022.
Ackowledging the risks associated with more infectious new variants through the winter period, the payment ensures that employees unable to work owing to isolation requirements in this period, without access to paid sick leave, are supported.
Eligibility for the payment will be backdated to 1 July 2022 and access to these payments will commence from Wednesday 20 July, with existing eligibility requirements to continue.
In addition, the Commonwealth Government will also reinstate the Crisis Payment – National Health Emergency (COVID-19) until 30 September 2022, with eligibility also to be backdated to 1 July 2022. This will ensure people affected by COVID-19 isolation requirements who receive an income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance, and who are in severe financial hardship, continue to receive support through the winter period.
The Commonwealth has also agreed to create a new, temporary telehealth item so GPs can spend longer with their patients to assess their suitability for oral COVID-19 antivirals. This will enable those most vulnerable to COVID-19 to quickly access medical treatments and help ease the burden on hospitals.
State and Territory Premiers and Chief Ministers have also shared updates from across each jurisdiction, including noting initiatives such as increasing access to supplies of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs).