The health and safety of Tasmanians remains our number one priority as we continue to respond to the developing COVID-19 outbreaks in other states.
The virus continues to cause challenges across Australia, with three states in lockdown, and my thoughts are with the people of Victoria, South Australia, and Victoria as they act to bring the virus under control.
We know that swift action works, and while the situation in Victoria and South Australia is looking encouraging, our border restrictions with all three states will remain unchanged, meaning no one from those states are able to enter Tasmania unless approved by the Deputy State Controller.
Public Health has reviewed the requirement for travellers from Victoria who are currently required to wear a mask in public in Tasmania and given most new exposure sites in Victoria relate to the last few days, when movement from Victoria to Tasmania has been restricted and involves quarantine, the mask wearing requirement for these people will be lifted from midnight tonight.
This also means that from Monday, 26 July, staff and students who have returned from Victoria and are not required to quarantine, are now able to attend their school.
For those travellers who have been in South Australia on or since 8 July, the mask requirement will remain in place until 14 days have passed since they were last in South Australia. This requirement will be reviewed on Sunday.
We continue to ask that travellers who have been in South Australia on or since 8 July, should not return to school until at least Tuesday next week at this stage, unless the 14 day time period has passed since you were last in South Australia. A further update will be provided on Monday.
I apologise for the impacts this has, however, the safety of Tasmanians and the safety of our communities remains our number one priority.
We understand that it’s critical to support those impacted students, and schools will be providing direct support to those families.
Public health is also closely monitoring the situation in Queensland, where one case has been confirmed in a Qantas flight attendant who travelled on a number of regional flights within that State, and everyone who has been interstate in the past 14 days should continue to checkwww.coronavirus.tas.gov.au every day for sites they may have visited. If they are impacted, they must isolate and call the Public Health Hotline for advice.
As a result of the COVID situation in Australia, the New Zealand government has today announced it will suspend the travel bubble with Australia for a period of eight weeks.
I understand Air New Zealand will work to provide its regular scheduled service between Hobart and Auckland this coming Sunday and Thursday, enabling both Tasmanians and New Zealanders to return home.
Getting as many Tasmanians vaccinated remains a priority in Tasmania and pleasingly, our vaccination program continues to progress well, with over 44.5 per cent of Tasmanians now having received one dose and 20.4 per cent fully vaccinated–over 90,000 Tasmanians.
Our message continues to be please, don’t wait – vaccinate. You can book your appointment by visiting the coronavirus website and clicking on the Vaccination tab or by ringing the Public Health hotline on 1800 671 738