ANMF Cautions Against Hasty Removal of COVID-19 Safety Measures

31 August 2022

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is urging caution on the potential scaling-back of mandatory COVID isolation to be considered by National Cabinet, saying COVID-safety measures must always be based on considered, expert health advice.

Speaking as National Cabinet meets today, ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler warned that despite daily case numbers falling, ‘as much as we all desperately want it to be – COVID is not yet over’.

“While we are slowly emerging from this current COVID-19 outbreak, we must not risk further infection, disease and increased burden on our health system by removing COVID safety measures too quickly. We saw the devastation caused when the former Prime Minister and NSW Premier last year insisted the country had to ‘open up and live with COVID’ and decided to ‘let it rip’. The subsequent wave of the Omicron variant ran rampant in the lead-up to Christmas causing enormous stress on our health and aged care systems, enormous disruption and thousands of deaths,” Ms Butler said today.

“Our politicians must learn from their previous mistakes and ensure all decisions are based on expert health advice and that nurses, midwives and care workers, and other health professionals, are not overwhelmed and the most vulnerable in our community continue to be protected.

“Supporting and caring for the country’s most vulnerable is much more than personal responsibility, it requires a collective response led by well informed, committed politicians.

“We’ve all been dealing with the pandemic for almost three years now and we are all COVID-fatigued, but unfortunately, it’s not over yet and may not be over for some time yet. Latest health advice is indicating that Australia is facing the very real threat of another wave of infections in late November-December.

“As Governments do commence to ease COVID-safety protocols, based on health advice, the ANMF says we must adopt a measured, staged approach and be flexible enough for protections to be re-instated quickly if required and targeted for specific settings and circumstances. For example, in some countries, where isolation periods have been lifted, mask-wearing is still mandatory. That’s the type of sensible, considered approach we could adopt here.”

The ANMF, with over 310,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and carers in Australia.

ANMF media release authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne. 

ANMF media inquiries: Richard Lenarduzzi 0411 254 390

Share this story

Stay aware and up to date with industry issues

Receive the latest ANMF news, media and campaign updates direct to your inbox.

By submitting this form you agree to receive electronic messages from the ANMF and have read our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe any time

Read More

Media Releases

Stay up to date with the latest media releases from the ANMF.


Overhauls needed to slow nurse and midwife exodus

News Overhauls needed to slow nurse and midwife exodus

15 February 2023

There are fresh calls to address widespread burnout and trauma amongst nurses and midwives or risk a devastating loss o...

Read more

Australia facing nursing shortage as more than two years of COVID takes its toll

News Australia facing nursing shortage as more than two years of COVID takes its toll

22 July 2022

Australia is in the midst of a health crisis — one it cannot staff. More than two and a half years into the pandemic, C...

Read more

ANMF joins call for more investment in global vaccine equity and pandemic preparedness

News ANMF joins call for more investment in global vaccine equity and pandemic preparedness

18 February 2022

ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler has joined with other leading Australian voices calling for more investment in globa...

Read more