Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

PRESS CONFERENCE - 12 FEBRUARY 2021

Premier Peter Gutwein

Today, just for clarity, I will deal with the Victorian situation first foremost. I’ll make some comments, Dr Veitch, and deal with some questions, and then we’ve got a quick update in terms of the vaccination program, as we’ve indicated last week we’d be doing.

The health and safety of Tasmanians is our first priority, and it’s why we continue to be agile and responsive to COVID risks in other states.

And I want to thank Tasmanians for their efforts that they have put in to date.

We are in a good place, importantly, we want to stay there.

Over the past week in term Victoria we responded to the situation with 28 hot spots determined, with corresponding requirement and restrictions for travellers who have been in them, and in terms of those hot spots, obviously the message is, if you’ve been to a hot spot at the time that was listed, don’t come, and if you need to come then you need to apply through a Good2Go app to arrive.

Today, Victoria has announced five new cases.

I understand that case numbers in terms of active cases is now around 19, and the Premier of Victoria has just a little while ago announced a five-day lockdown, it’s been a Stage 4 lockdown which is a quite severe lockdown for the whole of the state, from midnight tonight to midnight on Wednesday.

Therefore it’s prudent that we respond accordingly, and on Public Health advice from Dr Veitch and his team, Victoria in its entirety will be declared a high risk state from midnight tonight.

We will continue to review that but, obviously, we would expect that to follow the same timeframe as Victoria, but obviously Public Health here will make the determinations whether or not they believe should the lockdown end in Victoria in five days, whether or not Tasmania is willing to [inaudible] the same time or not.

That will be a matter for Dr Veitch and his team.

What this means is that travellers from Victoria, anybody wanting to enter the state from midnight tonight, must go through the Good2Go process.

With non-Tasmanian residents, the default position will be that you’ll be denied entry.

You’ll need to apply to the State Controller for an exemption, if you wish to enter Tasmania and you are a non-Tasmanian resident.

However, with Victoria in lockdown, the message is very clear, don’t come to Tasmania.

The Victorian Government has asked you to abide by very strict restrictions in terms of your travel and movement, so after midnight tonight, unless there is an essential reason for you being here, please stay in Victoria.

All Tasmanians returning after midnight tonight will be required to undertake 14 days of self-isolation, and that can be done in their own premises, if it’s suitable, if not, we will provide accommodation in a Government hotel, the first 24 hours will be at the Government’s cost, but after that they will be billed.

In regards to the hot spots, the defined hot spots, in addition to those that had been previously communicated, obviously, as of today, Terminal 4 in Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport has been declared a hot spot as well.

We’re currently messaging people who are currently in Tasmania who have come from Victoria and may have been in the Brunetti Café in Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 4 on the 9th of February from 4:45am to 01:15pm in the early afternoon of that day.

They are being asked to immediately self-isolate.

If they don’t have suitable premise, then we’ll provide Government accommodation, and they are being requested to contact Public Health and, importantly, arrange a test.

So, if anybody is in the state that has been in Brunetti Café in Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 4 and was in that Terminal and café on 9th February from 4:45am to 01:15pm, please immediately self-isolate, contact Public Health hotline, that is 1800 671 738, and organise a test.

We’re also messaging people currently in the state who have travelled to Tasmania and may have been simply in Terminal 4 in its entirety on the 9th February.

Our message at this stage is again, please self-isolate and contact Public Health to discuss your circumstances with them.

Also out of abundance of caution, anyone who was at Tullamarine Airport on the 7th or 8th of February and who are currently in Tasmania, we’re asking that you monitor the symptoms and get tested if any present.

The other point I’d make is for those people returning from Victoria this afternoon and before midnight tonight, anyone returning this afternoon before midnight, if you have been to any of the 28 hot spots, including in Terminal 4, you will obviously have been requested to fill out your Good2Go app.

If you are a Victorian, by alerting us to the fact that you have been to one of those hot spot areas, you won’t be allowed to come, unless you have an exemption and a reason to be here.

If you are Tasmanian and you have been to any of those hot spot areas, again, you’ll be asked to self-isolate, contact Public Health.

So, to be clear, our hot spot arrangements and in terms of the Good2Go pass in terms of those hot spots areas, we would ask that people go through that process and, importantly, if you’re arriving before midnight tonight, ensure that if you have been to one of those locations, please don’t come if you’re a Victorian, for a Tasmanian returning home, you’ll need to self-isolate.

In terms of Tullamarine, our intention at this stage is to not close that airport off to Tasmania.

It is a significant transport hub, but we’ll continue to keep that under advisement from Public Health.

For obvious reasons, we have hundreds of people, Tasmanians, each week that travel to Melbourne to and from or to that terminal and through it for health-related reasons.

There are also the issue of flights from other states coming in and through that hub.

Again, the measures that we have taken a fortnight ago in terms of people wearing face masks whilst entering a terminal, within the terminal and on the plane, you know, we believe ensures that it’s a very low risk, but we’ll continue to take that on advisement.

Now, importantly, you know, I would hope that this is a temporary measure, obviously, as I’ve said, from midnight tonight those travel restrictions will be implemented and, obviously, we will be cognisant of what occurs in Victoria over the next five days, but for how long those restrictions remain in place, that will be a matter for the Director of Public Health.

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