Australian PM says "Omicron is a gear change"

Having successfully kept a lid on its virus caseload through aggressive lockdowns and tough border controls earlier in the pandemic, Australia is now suffering record infections as the country begins to live with the virus after higher vaccinations.

Authorities have cut mandatory isolation times for close contacts and narrowed the definition of close contacts but were still reviewing the rules for furloughing workers that have widened supply chain gaps.

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