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TCCI backs isolation rules relax for critical workers

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The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is pushing for the Federal Government to relax COVID-related isolation rules or risk crippling the Tasmanian economy.

The Federal Government has been meeting industry chiefs and health experts, to discuss expanding the list of workforces exempt from strict isolation requirements.

Transport services, education and energy supply businesses are among those being considered.

Unemployed and older Australians are also being encouraged to enter the workforce, to help fill vacancies in the short term.

Groceries, supermarkets and health care are among the industries feeling the strain in the Apple Isle.

TCCI CEO Michael Bailey has stressed the rules need to change.

"Ultimately, we would like to see only those with COVID required to isolate and more flexible rules for close contacts who have tested negative," Mr Bailey said.

“If we don’t make these changes, and soon, then there are going to be serious consequences for the community and for the economy."

But not everyone is onboard, with several unions pushing back against the notion.

Unions Tasmania has slammed the new national framework that allows critical employees to return to work once they've tested negative to COVID.

Under the isolation requirements, those have been identified as an asymptomatic close contact of a Covid case and test negative can return to work if their role is essential.

They'd have to isolate outside of work and be approved by WorkSafe Tasmsania.

Secretary Jessica Munday has called the plan unsafe.

"If they’re lucky, this may provide a temporary fix but threaten supply chains with even more infections in future," Ms Munday said.