The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), which is made up of federal, state and territory chief health officers, made the recommendation, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Given reinfections may occur as early as 28 days after recovery from a previous COVID-19 infection, the AHPPC advises that the reinfection period be reduced from 12 weeks to 28 days,” it said.
That means people who test positive for Covid more than 28 days after ending isolation due to previous infection should be reported and managed as new cases.
It warned that Australia was at the beginning of a new wave of infections driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants.
“This winter, we are experiencing significant community transmission of both COVID-19 and influenza, which is placing real stress on our community and health system,” the AHPPC said.
“We expect that this wave will lead to a substantial increase in infections, hospitalizations and sadly, deaths, at a time when our communities and health systems are already under strain.”
On Saturday, Australia reported more than 35,000 new Covid cases and over 70 deaths.
The country’s overall caseload and death toll now stood at 8,413,831 and 10,225, respectively.
There were 3,977 cases being treated in hospitals, including 141 in intensive care units.