Following today’s meeting of National Cabinet it was agreed churches and other places of worship will be considered places of work so that services can be live streamed to the community. This will ensure that religious services, including Easter services, remain accessible to congregations.
National Cabinet agreed that providing access to services is important for a sense of continuity and social connection. Services may be conducted and live streamed providing only essential staff are present, the venue/facility remains closed to the public, and social distancing principles are adhered to.
Any church wishing to conduct religious services, including Easter services, must use the minimum number of participants required to deliver and live stream the service, which may include a priest, attendants, organist, videographer and sound recordist.
We must continue to get the balance right, and National Cabinet will regularly review the restrictions we have put in place to ensure we are only doing what is necessary to protect the health of Tasmanians and keep the economy running.
We will continue to do everything we can to limit the impact of COVID-19 on our economy and provide the necessary supports for workers. In regards to local government, the Federal Government’s JobSeeker payment could apply for employees who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In our second social and economic support package that we announced last week, we extended the $50 million interest free loan scheme for local government to $150 million. We will also be broadening the criteria for the scheme to provide local government with more flexibility with how the loans are utilised.
The Tasmanian Government also supports the Federal Government’s announcement that it would provide free childcare to essential workers which will assist in enabling Tasmanians to continue going to work.
Ongoing discussions regarding commercial leases will continue at the next meeting of National Cabinet on Tuesday, where we will work towards implementing a mandatory code of practice for commercial tenancies which will be adopted by states and territories.