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Queensland businesses struggle as employees forced to isolate



Queensland businesses are struggling through the busiest period of the year as staff deemed as casual and close COVID-19 contacts are forced to isolate.

Several businesses have been forced to reduce their opening hours or turn away customers due to lack of staff.

"Oh it's been very difficult," Tina Chaff from Kitty O'Shea's said.

"They may have just gone to the shops and they're getting a message and then they can't come to work."

READ MORE: Concerns there are more COVID-19 cases in NSW than numbers show

Those waiting on test results are also forced to isolate, with a National Cabinet meeting on Thursday set to discuss possible rule changes for close and casual contacts as a result of the economic impacts they are having.

"A lot of them are losing three or four days' pay and then coming back negative (on their COVID-19 test)," Ms Chaff said.

Danny Azzi from La Diosa on the Gold Coast is also feeling the pressure, slashing opening hours to stay afloat.

"We're taking only 50 per cent capacity at the moment and that's still a struggle with customer service," he said.

READ MORE: Queensland records 1589 new COVID-19 cases

Bernie Hogan from the Queensland Hotels Association said rules for COVID-19 testing needed an overhaul.

"If you're a fleeting contact there's no way you should be isolating waiting for a PCR test," he said.

"We have to be smart about it and look at who we're actually classifying."

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard confirmed the classification of casual contacts and isolation requirements would be revised.

It's of little consolation to businesses who are struggling now.

"If people have had vaccinations then I don't understand why they have to keep making the procedures harder, we just need to get on with it now," Ms Chaff said.

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