“Victoria’s announcement today that it is adjusting close contact isolation rules to help prevent supply chain disruptions comes as a great relief for many businesses,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

“With COVID widely present in the community, the Victorian government has listened to industry’s call to work through the most difficult of these health issues while recognising that supply of goods and services is at risk if COVID responses are too heavy handed.  The new approach will help businesses and consumers feel more confident that supply chains will continue to operate and shortages where they exist will likely be temporary.

“It is also positive that the Victorian changes mean the east coast states have adopted very similar arrangements to keep people working in critical sectors.  This will improve understanding of the new arrangements and assist businesses that operate across state borders to comply with the new arrangements.

“Industry is taking measures to maintain safe workplaces and to look after the health of customers.  Employers are increasingly having to bear the costs of Rapid Antigen Testing of their employees themselves and with these costs set to rise in coming months, governments need to consider how employers - particularly small and medium-sized employers - can reduce or have testing costs reimbursed.  It is to the community’s benefit to keep businesses operating and these costs need to be shared,” Mr Willox said.

Further comment: Tim Piper - 0411 430 301