The impact of ending mandatory self-isolation periods for people with COVID-19 on children and young people with disability.
“By ending the mandatory self-isolation period for people who test positive to COVID-19, we are only decreasing the freedom of people who are at the highest risk of dying from COVID-19. The health of people with disabilities matters.”
On 30 September, 2022, Australia's National Cabinet announced that mandatory self-isolation for people with COVID-19 would cease as of 14 October 2022.
CYDA have reached out to our community of young people with disability for their perspectives and information on how this will impact their lives.
88% of young people with disability, and 81% of parents and caregivers, DO NOT support ending mandatory self-isolation periods for people with COVID-19 at this time.
Respondents expressed serious concerns about the lack of consultation and disregard of safety for people at higher risk of long-term complications or death from COVID-19. Young people stated they do not feel safe to return to work or study, access public transport, or participate in the community, once the mandate ceases.
We have summarised the results of the poll and the impact this will have on our community in the PDF and accessible word reports above ☝️
We have also sent the reports to the Prime Minister and members of National Cabinet, urging a delay of the end of mandatory self-isolation, consultation with community and a public health campaign to encourage people to engage in effective measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including self-isolation and mask wearing.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the poll! Your voices are important and deserve to be heard.
CYDA's letter to National Cabinet:
To Members of National Cabinet,
I am writing to you today in relation to the National Cabinet decision to end mandatory isolation requirements for Australians who test positive for COVID-19, effective 14 October 2022.
Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) is the national peak disability organisation representing the voices of children and young people, aged up to 25 years, and their families. We conducted a community poll to determine how our community perceived the National Cabinet decision, and how it is likely to impact their lives.
The poll highlighted consistent concerns across the community regarding a lack of consultation, ongoing safety, and continued distrust of government policy. Young people stated they do not feel safe to return to work or study, access public transport, or participate in the community, once the mandate ceases.
CYDA wishes to highlight concerns for children and young people who are mandated to attend school, where remote learning is no longer an option. Children and young people are generally unable to make choices about attending public spaces or having contact with non-family members, including in spaces such as childcare or sporting clubs.
We acknowledge the government’s commitment to capacity building and reduction in government intervention; however, we maintain concern for the safety and inclusion of the community we represent.
CYDA respectfully requests the following actions be considered by National Cabinet:
- A commitment to listening to community concerns, including those of children and young people with disability
- A renewed public health campaign to support the broader community to limit community transmission, particularly amongst Australians with increased risk of complications from COVID-19
- To reconsider the decision to cease mandatory isolation from 14 October, particularly in settings which place children and young people with disability at increased risk.
Our request for action is based on the strong feedback we have received from our community. We draw your attention to the summary report attached, highlighting the key concerns raised.
We appreciate National Cabinet’s ongoing commitment to the rights and participation of children and young people with disability across Australia.
Chairperson, Children and Young People with Disability Australia