Sarah Courtney,Minister for Health
As a Government, our highest priority at this time is the protection of the community from the coronavirus.
Already, we are have taken significant steps state-wide to help achieve this, and I again want to thank the community for their assistance and understanding.
Unfortunately, there has now been a significant outbreak of the coronavirus in the North-West, which requires us to take additional pre-emptive action to ensure we flatten the curve.
So from midnight tonight additional, stronger business restrictions will be implemented for a period of 14 days in the following municipal areas: Latrobe, Kentish, Devonport, Central Coast, Burnie, Waratah-Wynyard, Circular Head and West Coast.
Under these additional, stronger restrictions the following will apply:
- Businesses- additional business restrictions affecting most remaining retailers will be implemented. These measures are aimed at reducing customer facing interactions wherever possible.
For Individuals – the rules for individuals and families have not changed – stay at home, unless you absolutely need to go out, for example to get essential supplies; and
All remaining retail businesses will now be required to close from midnight tonight, except for those providing:
- Essential services such as medical services, pharmacies, supermarkets, green grocers, food take-away, service/petrol stations, bakeries, laundromats and dry cleaners, newsagents, rural services and general stores, bottle shops, IT repairs, car repairs (but new and used car sales are closed), veterinary services, animal and pet food supplies and banks; and
- Trade supply stores open to trade customers only.
Big box retailers and others that offer online services and home delivery can operate for online services and home delivery only.
If you operate a retail business that does not fall into these categories, and if you are unable to offer online sales and home delivery, you must close. Exemptions may be available in certain circumstances.
Local Government essential services will continue to operate as determined by Local Councils.
If in doubt, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.
There will be an Order under the Public Health Act which will take effect from midnight tonight, and detail will be communicated publicly in newspaper advertisements and radio announcements, with targeted messaging to the North-West community.
I understand these additional forced closures will come as a blow to businesses that have been trying to adjust to the coronavirus operating environment.
To those business, and their affected workers, I offer my genuine apologies, but ask you to please understand it is a necessary action at this time to save lives.
The coronavirus is an insidious disease that can spread like wildfire if we don’t take the necessary actions.
I take absolutely no pleasure in imposing these additional restrictions, especially on the retail sector, and we will review these following the 14-day period.
We are in the fight of our life against the coronavirus and I again urge everyone to join the battle by staying home, to save lives.