Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

PRESS CONFERENCE - 5 AUGUST 2021 - 4.30pm

Premier Peter Gutwein

Good afternoon with me, I have Katherine Morgan-Wicks, and Dr. Mark Veitch and also I'm Dr. Julie Graham, who is the Deputy Director of Public Health and who has been involved with the contact tracking and tracing and also Deputy Commissioners Donna Adams, who was the Deputy State Controller - if there are any questions in terms of border controls and other matters.

Firstly, let me just make the point that as I flagged today, Public Health has been reviewing the COVID-19 risk across the country and obviously have attended the meeting by AHPPC where updates were provided today.

I said this morning that we would be monitoring the situation in Victoria. And as I would expect you to be aware they just announced a statewide lockdown for seven days beginning at 8pm tonight. Therefore noting the emerging risk in Victoria and the controls that they have put in place,

in terms of that state will be declaring Victoria high-riskm level two from 8pm tonight for seven days.

What this means is that anyone that has spent time in Victoria will not be permitted to enter Tasmania unless they are approved as an essential travel or are a returning Tasmanian who can quarantine in suitable premises. The exception is if you've been to a high-risk premises, and they've been listed and updated on the website as they have with other states on a regular basis, you won't be allowed to travel.

It also means that for anyone who is already in Tasmania and has been in Victoria in the last 14 days, we'd ask that you continue to check the hot list of high-risk premises on the Coronavirus website. If you've been to a high-risk premises, you'll need to isolate immediately and contact the public health hotline on 1-800-671-738 and others if you could just continue to monitor your situation on an ongoing basis and of any symptoms arise - please ensure that you receive a test.

Dr. Veitch will update you in terms of some additional measures that we're putting in place in terms of aged care facilities and hospitals, which will require staff and visitors to wear masks with no more than two visitors at any one time.

In terms of any person arriving from NSW, Victoria or Queensland – who is not a Tasmanian resident or doesn’t have approval to enter Tasmania – you will be turned around and placed on the next available flight as our hotel quarantine is now starting to rapidly reach capacity. The bottom line is, as a result of the escalating situation across the country, we’re getting very close to there being no room at the end. Importantly, if you’re not approved to enter Tasmania you will be placed on the next available flight.

I’ll give a quick update in terms of other states. In Queensland, obviously 11 local government areas and south-east Queensland remain a level two, high-risk. Anyone who has been in those areas on or since the 17th of July are subject to stay at home orders until 4pm on Sunday, 8th August when it will be reviewed.

People are only able to leave the stay at home order if 14 days have passed since they were last in south-east Queensland, upon receipt of a negative COVID test done at least four days after leaving those areas. Nothing has changed in terms of that situation, however for any Tasmanians who have recently been in Cairns or Western Australia, we're also asking that you check the list of exposure sites on the Coronavirus website following confirmed cases in both of those jurisdictions.

If you’ve been in any of those new exposure sites listed, please isolate immediately and call the Public Health hotline for further advice. If you have been to one of those high-risk premises, you will not be allowed to enter Tasmania.

The border restrictions with New South Wales remain unchanged. Meaning the small number of essential travellers approved to come into Tasmania are required to go into government designated quarantine for 14 days, at their own expense.

As I've said, in terms of the situation with hotel quarantine rather rapidly filling - if you arrive without at pass, you will be asked to get back on the first available flight back and return home.

Importantly, in terms of the case announced this morning, our contact tracking and tracing is going well and Dr Vietch can provide an update in terms of those matters. The contact tracking and tracing team have been during a sterling job this afternoon, and I think we are certainly starting to get on top of that stage.

Again the message is – ensure you do the right thing, follow the Public Health rules and directions. If you’re unwell, ensure you get a test. Importantly, cover your coughs and sneezes and ensure you have good hand hygiene.

Dr Veitch will fill in some of those other matters regarding aged care and hospitals.