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Victoria, Australia

Health Minister Foley to take up calls for on-farm quarantine with relevant authorities

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley has promised to take up calls for on-farm quarantine for Pacific Islander seasonal workers with the relevant health authorities. Foley reacted to a suggestion from Shepparton Independent MP Suzanna Sheed, who advised to shorten the 14-day quarantine period by allowing workers to stay on farms.

Ms Sheed asked if Foley would take the matter up with Department of Health authorities, who were managing quarantine protocols. "What we have now is some 3000 workers in the system, supporting Victoria's farmers across those two tranches of Solomon Islander workers," Foley said. "In regard to the transition from 14-day hotel quarantine to alternative arrangements based on that risk matrix, I will undertake to make the representations [Ms Sheed] has requested.

"As Victoria, and indeed the country, moves along the process of a highly vaccinated community, we are increasingly able to decouple the restrictions and the quarantine arrangements from the relatively strict 14-day hotel quarantine system to a more nuanced, risk-based system based on where individuals are coming from and their vaccination status in doing so." reports that a spokeswoman for Mr Foley confirmed the government's public health experts were considering changes to isolation and quarantine protocols, as Victoria moved towards 80 per cent double dose and beyond.

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