Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday announced the sectors of emergency services, education, critical utilities, custodial facilities and transport and freight would join the food production and distribution industries in exempting critical workers from seven-day isolation as of next Tuesday.
“Those sectors will join the food sector in a broad sense,” Mr Andrews said.
“They will be exempt if they are playing a critical role, from having to do home isolation.
“They will need to take a right test for five days and if that is negative they can proceed to do that critical work.”
COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar warned the loosened isolation rules were not an “open slather” for all workers within those sectors to dodge isolation, with only those performing a critical work function permitted to go to work.
“They need to be treated with significant care,” he said.
“From the Omicron wave, we know that around quarter or half of close contacts will ultimately become infected.”
Booster shots could also be made mandatory for additional industries, as extra vaccine supplies are rolled out.
Mr Andrews said a supply of booster vaccines will be given to Woolworths and Coles so they can set up booster clinics to help get staff vaccinated.
“We will provide them with the supply and they will most likely engage a private provider to administer the vaccine,” he said.