Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

PRESS CONFERENCE - 2 AUGUST 2021

Premier Peter Gutwein

In terms of the evolving situation in Queensland, Queensland today has reported another 13 community cases of COVID-19, and as a result, the state's lockdown for the 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) has been extended until 4pm on Sunday.

This has been done to give authorities a fighting chance of getting on top of the Delta outbreak which obviously remains very serious.

Here in Tasmania, on Saturday we responded swiftly, and we classified those 11 South East Queensland Local Government Areas as high-risk Level 2.

This means that anyone from those 11 impacted areas are no longer able to travel to Tasmania, unless they are approved to travel as an essential traveller or specified person.

We also require that anyone in Tasmania who's been in these regions on or since the 17th of July immediately go home or back to their accommodation, with their movements restricted by stay at home directions.

I understand that this is an inconvenience, but I want to stress that this is a very serious situation.

As I said on Saturday, this is not a drill.

The Delta variant is a whole new ball game, and we ask all Tasmanians to do the right thing to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.

Public Health has further reviewed the situation and, given the extended lockdown in Queensland, has provided updated advice to the Government.

Tasmania will continue to mirror the restrictions put in place within Queensland, meaning our high-risk Level 2 declaration, and stay at home directions will remain in effect until at least 4pm on Sunday, the 8th of August with a review to be undertaken later this week.

Those people in Tasmania who are currently subject to the stay at home direction, because you've returned from Queensland and been in one of those 11 high-risk areas LGAs, you must follow the requirements of the direction for 14 days after you were last in South East Queensland and, importantly, you must have received a negative result from a COVID test done at least 12 days after leaving South East Queensland to leave the stay at home order.

This process will continue on a rolling basis for all people who’ve returned to Tasmania from South East Queensland’s high-risk areas since the 17th of July.

You should book a test on or after Day 12 after you left the affected South East Queensland high-risk areas, so that after Day 14 and with a negative test you can resume your normal movements and activities.

We will be SMSing people, those that are at the 12 Day period, in terms of their test.

I would make the point that we've already been in touch with those people that would have left Queensland on the 17th or the 18th, 19th, and I think through to 20th trough to the 22nd, to let them know that they can book their test and, those people that returned on the 17th or the 18th will mostly have started their testing yesterday, and hopefully we'll be able to allow them to not have to abide by the stay at home order.

Increased capacity is being established for both the Public Health hotline and testing facilities to ensure we're able to meet demand.

Students will be able to return progressively to school, following a negative test and completing the 14 days.

This will enable most students to return to school very soon, bearing in mind that the 17th of July was the second-last day of school holidays, and we expect that most students would have been returning back to the state then at the very latest, with school starting on what would have been Monday the 19th or the week of the 19th.

For those who are currently at home, there are five key reasons why you're permitted to leave home.

These are to shop for necessary goods and services, obviously food, beverages, fuel, household supplies.

You can leave to access medical or health treatment or supplies, including to be tested for COVID-19, but does not include leaving to attend a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

We would ask, if you have a COVID-19 vaccination appointment to contact the Public Health hotline or through the email and ensure that you seek a new date for that.

So, in terms of access to medical or health treatment, you can leave for COVID-19 tests, but not for a vaccination.

You can leave home if you attend work or school, if unable to be undertaken at home, or you can attend work or school if unable to be undertaken at home, noting that in terms of students, the Government has determined that students and school staff have been asked to stay home until they're cleared to return, and so, again, that's the 14 days and a negative test.

To undertake personal exercise, you can leave home, but exercise must be undertaken with a person from your household, including carers or with someone for safety reasons, as was explained on the weekend, but all exercise activities must be conducted within a five kilometre radius of the household.

You can also leave your home if you're under the stay at home order, or accommodation, if you are going to leave Tasmania, and that could be to return to another state, if not Queensland.

No matter what the reasons for being out of the home, masks must be worn until exempted, and while you're at home, you must not have visitors.

Information is being provided to impacted people, as I said, via SMS as is the standard practice. I've spoken to a number of people that have been caught up in this and they've indicated to me that the communication has been very good in terms of letting them know what their circumstances are.

However, if you have any queries, do not hesitate to call the Public Health hotline on 1800 671 738.

As I've said on every other update, please keep on top of COVID. Please protect yourselves and your family, follow the COVID-safe behaviours, make sure that if you are not under a stay at home order and you are out and about that you use the Check-in TAS app, that you follow good hygiene practices, stay home if you're unwell and, importantly, even if you have the mildest of symptoms, ensure that you get a test.

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