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Tasmania’s staff-short supply chain awaits isolation rule changes | The Examiner


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As the Omicron variant continues to prove itself more disruptive than its less deadly counterparts, the state’s supply chain workers are waiting to see when looser isolation requirements taken up on the mainland will make their way to Tasmania. Earlier this week, prime minister Scott Morrison backed moves by the Queensland and New South Wales governments to scrap some isolation requirements for critical supply chain workers. READ MORE: Search found cheques hidden in man’s anus The loosened restrictions would mean workers deemed as close contacts wouldn’t need to isolate if they are asymptomatic and return a negative rapid-antigen test. Some version of the new regulations are expected to hit the state later this week, after the National Cabinet meets on Wednesday. READ MORE: Is the pandemic burning itself out? Experts suggest it could be Unions Tasmania have decried the move, with UT secretary Jessica Munday stating the new rules “may provide a temporary fix but threaten supply chains with even more infections in future”. Meanwhile, groups like the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia have welcomed the re-evaluation but are eager to see their workers included in the exemption. If the new rules were adopted, Drew Freeman – general manager at Statewide Independent Wholesalers – believes they could help alleviate some of the stress on the state’s supply chain. SIW is based just south of Launceston and supplies mainly groceries to stores across the state. “There have certainly been disruptions across all areas. I think getting people out of quarantine – if it’s managed well – could help keep things moving,” he said. READ MORE: Almost 900 people released from isolation as COVID cases rise That said, Mr Freeman went on to stress to the public that the state was not facing an immediate food shortage and they shouldn’t be overly concerned. “We’ve got the stock – we just want to make sure we’ve got the hands on deck to get it to shelves,” he said. The state government is expected to further outline the rule changes later this week. What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor:

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