(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

COVID is again tearing through the country, evading immunity from vaccines and previous infections. Australia is recording close to 50,000 cases a day, with a peak expected around late July to mid-August. Most are the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.

Governments should have learned many lessons from the past two and a half years. But have they? It seems not.

On Monday the national cabinet will hold a snap meeting to discuss crisis payments that ended on June 30. Premiers and opposition leaders from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT are calling for the payments to be reinstated, with NSW Liberal Premier Dominic Perrottet saying COVID-19 policies should "never be set and forget".