The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the alignment of Covid protocols from the NSW and Victorian Governments, with the removal of close contact isolation requirements an enormous relief for businesses severely impacted by staff shortages.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra said it’s pleasing to see our two largest states working together and leading what should be the national approach for living with Covid.
“Close contact isolation rules are well past their use by date given we’re one of the most vaccinated countries in the world. It doesn’t make sense to force healthy people to stay at home when they show no symptoms of Covid and test negative. The removal of these isolation requirements in NSW and Victoria are an important step on the path towards living with Covid and are an example for the other jurisdictions to follow,” Mr Zahra said.
“Staff shortages due to Covid isolations have been an enormous frustration for small businesses in particular, with 48% of ARA Members saying the situation had gotten worse in the past month. Some have had to alter their trading hours, or close some locations altogether, because they haven’t been able get people to fill shifts at the last minute.
“Pleasingly, with the announcements from NSW and Victoria today, we’ll be able to get more people back working subject to regular testing requirements. This is an enormous relief for businesses who haven’t been able to trade at their full potential.
“Masks have been the other frustration for retailers, particularly in Victoria where they’ve been mandatory for retail staff. It’s pleasing to see these requirements lifted, along with vaccine checks in hospitality venues, which will further assist Victoria’s economic recovery.
“We’re one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, and into the third year of this pandemic. The days of overzealous Covid rules are over.”
ARA Media Team
T 0419 270 863
About us: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s oldest, largest and most diverse retail body, representing a $360bn sector which employs 1.3 million Australians. As Australia’s peak retail body, representing more than 100,000 retail shop fronts, the ARA informs, advocates, educates, protects and unifies independent, national and international retail members. To learn more about ARA’s exclusive benefits and more, visit www.retail.org.au