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Australia to Reinstate Payments for Virus Absences as Cases Rise

·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Australia will reintroduce support payments for workers forced to isolate after contracting Covid-19 as case numbers rise during the southern hemisphere winter.

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Regular meetings between the national government and the country’s key regional leaders will also resume through September under efforts to respond to the emergence of the highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants.

“When you get the health outcomes right you protect jobs and protect the economy,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters Saturday in Sydney. The support payments will continue until Sept. 30, he said.

Australia last month halted the assistance program, which offers eligible recipients as much as A$750 ($510) a week if they lose work as a result of virus isolation requirements. Residents who test positive need to isolate for 7 days under current rules.

Cases in Australia are forecast to increase in the coming weeks and peak in August, Albanese said.

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