One of Australia’s former Deputy Chief Medical Officer’s has called for the scrapping of COVID-19 check-ins and a winding back of face mask requirements.

Infectious diseases expert, Dr Nick Coatsworth said now is the time to re-evaluate the use of masks in our fight against the virus.

“Where we’re going with Omicron variant and the change in severity, it does mean we can start looking at whether we need the restrictions or not.”

Both Victoria and New South Wales are understood to be looking at a further relaxing of mask mandates later this month.

Dr Coatsworth said now is also the perfect time to get rid of the need for QR code check-ins.

“QR codes are very good, if you want to keep people in a certain venue quarantined because they were exposed and they worked exceptionally well when we were in a suppression phase.”

“Now, as an intervention, they can’t have any use because there’s so much Omicron in the community and we can’t suppress it.”


While Dr Coatsworth thinks the likelihood of more severe COVID variants emerging is low, he said people also need to be prepared for restrictions to be ramped up if that were to happen.

“Perhaps it’s Omicron with the lethality of Delta, then I’ll be the first person to tell people to put masks back on.”

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