Australians stuck in COVID-19 isolation on election day as a confirmed case or close contact are set to be able to cast their vote.
For the first federal election of the COVID era, the Australian Electoral Commission confirmed it is working on an nation-first telephone voting system for those subject to isolation orders on the day of the May 21 poll.
Voters who have missed pre-polling and postal vote options will have to make a declaration they're subject to a health order to access the "emergency" measure.
AEC boss Tom Rogers said the declaration would stop people "gumming up" the system for others.
"If we have to read out the Senate ballot paper for people at telephone voting, it's going to take some time," he told ABC Radio on Monday.
"So I urge people to only use that if they are actually subject to that health order. It truly is a contingency measure."
Confirmed COVID-19 cases and most close contacts are still currently required to spend seven days in isolation across the country.
National cabinet last month agreed it would remove the requirement for close contacts, contingent on health advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
But the expert health body recommended the seven-day isolation rule for close contacts remain until the peak passes for the current Omicron wave, expected sometime in April.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is preparing to announce a new health minister to replace the outgoing Greg Hunt.
Mr Hunt, who led Australia's COVID-19 pandemic response, is not re-contesting his Victorian seat of Flinders, opening the way for the government to lock in a new candidate for health minister if it's re-elected on May 21.
Mr Morrison confirmed on Monday his pick for health minister would be made known at the weekend.
It comes as daily virus case numbers in Australia dropped for a fourth consecutive day, with 41,806 new infections and five deaths recorded across the nation on Monday.
In a promotional video for his re-election campaign, Mr Morrison claimed his government had saved 40,000 lives since the pandemic began.
LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA FROM ACROSS AUSTRALIA:
NSW: 13,468 cases, three deaths, 1568 in hospital, 62 in ICU
Victoria: 9597 cases, one death, 381 in hospital, 20 in ICU
Queensland: 6667 cases, no deaths, 518 in hospital, 14 in ICU
Western Australia: 4993 cases, no deaths, 240 in hospital, eight in ICU
South Australia: 4281 cases, no deaths, 236 in hospital, 13 in ICU
Tasmania: 1650 cases, no deaths, 56 in hospital, one in ICU
ACT: 775 cases, one death, 62 in hospital, two in ICU
Northern Territory: 375 cases, no deaths, 31 in hospital, one in ICU
Australian Associated Press
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