RACP welcomes re-introduction of vital COVID-19 public health measures and urges vigilance
23 December 2021
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has welcomed the reintroduction and extension of vital COVID-19 public health measures across all states after recently calling on governments to take extra measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant in Australia.
Key steps forward in recent days include:
- NSW Government’s move to reintroduce QR code check-ins in retail and hospitality venues
- NSW Government’s move to reintroduce mask mandates in all indoor settings
- NSW Government’s move to reintroduce density limits in hospitality venues across the state
- Queensland Government’s move to extend mask mandates to include cinemas, theatres, and hospitality workers
- Victorian Government’s move to extend mask mandates to people aged eight years and over in all indoor venues outside their homes
- ACT Government’s move to reintroduce mask mandates in indoor settings
Dr Jacqueline Small, President-elect of the RACP, has expressed relief governments have moved in line with the RACP’s recommendations and those of the country’s senior public health advisers.
“What we are seeing with Omicron is that it spreads at lightning speed, and if we don’t take action now, we will have even more challenging times ahead of us," Dr Small said.
“The unprecedented climb in case numbers in NSW shows why we urgently needed public health measures to be put back in place.
“We strongly welcome the state governments’ decisions to reintroduce or maintain mask mandates, in addition to QR code check-ins and density limits.
Modelling by the Doherty Institute earlier this week had shown the need to remain flexible and prepared to reintroduce certain public health measures, with the Chief Medical Officers demanding a stronger approach from leaders.
“We have to ensure that people can continue living their lives and celebrate this time of the year with their loved ones while minimising risks to their health and safety.
“These proportionate actions help keep all in our community safer and ensure the health system can meet the needs of those who become unwell,” Dr Small said.