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Dialling up Covid safety measures like masks can help stop a new variant ripple becoming a wave | Catherine Bennett

Even modest precautions can give Australia a fighting chance to contain pathogens while we ascertain the risk

Omicron is a clear and present reminder of the need for us to be ready to dial up our protection measures at short notice. This is what staying in control of the coronavirus requires. The new variant has appeared on the horizon just as we have taken larger steps in eastern Australia to ease restrictions with the virus circulating in the community, and further easing of rules on mask wearing expected soon.

New South Wales announced mask rules will be largely removed once the fully vaccinated rate reaches 95%, or 15 December, whichever is earlier. If Omicron does not put a spanner in the works, the idea is to contract the mask rules to select, higher risk settings including public transport, ground and air, as well as ride share, and for front of house hospitality workers in indoor settings if not fully vaccinated. Masks are also strongly encouraged in any indoor settings where distancing can’t be maintained.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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