Tasmania prepared to live with Covid

Peter Gutwein,Premier

The health and safety of Tasmanians remains our number one priority and with our vaccination program continuing to proceed well, Tasmania is ready to reopen on December 15.

Our vaccination targets remain on track, with 92 per cent of those aged 12 and over now having had one dose, and 84.3 per cent fully vaccinated.

This means that as long as people keep turning up to get their second dose, we will be in a strong position when we reopen our borders.

There is no doubt that COVID will enter our community, and today we are providing Tasmanians with the information they need on how COVID will be managed when this occurs.

Public Health will continue to work with all exposure sites in regard to management of cases and contacts, and positive cases will still be required to isolate for up to two weeks and be managed by Public Health.

We expect that most cases will be managed at home at a suitable premises, due to our high vaccination rates.

If you’re identified by Public Health as a close contact, you will be required to quarantine, with the length of time to depend on several factors including the length of exposure, the vaccination status of both the case and the contact, any PPE used and the nature of exposure.

Casual contacts will not need to quarantine, but they will need to get a test on day three to five, and if they are unable to physically distance from people when out and about, they should wear a mask.

Additionally, anyone identified as a ‘low risk casual contact’ will not be required to do anything other than monitor symptoms, and if they do develop symptoms, even mild ones, get tested and isolate until you have the result.

In terms of businesses, they will need to review their COVID Safety Plans, which capture how the business or organisation complies with the minimum standards for managing the risks of COVID-19 to keep staff and other people within the setting safe.

Depending on the size of the business or organisation and whether it is a high-risk setting, a Case and Outbreak Management Plan may also be required to capture how your business or organisation will prepare for and respond to a confirmed case or cases of COVID-19 in their workplace or setting.

Worksafe Tasmania has developed comprehensive guidelines and templates to assist businesses in ensuring their workplaces are COVID-safe and that their employees, customers and clients, understand expectations and safety measures in place.

Importantly, our aim is for businesses to continue to remain open and continue trading, and closure will be a last resort option should a wider outbreak occur in a business setting and it is unsafe for staff or patrons.

Businesses have had Covid safety plans in place for around 12 months, and while I understand that we have been Covid free, I once again urge businesses to look at their plans and update their risk assessments to include vaccination, mask wearing and social distancing controls.

If broader localised hot spots are identified by Public Health, then targeted local area lockdowns may be implemented.

To ensure the community is kept updated, the information will be supported by fact sheets and public advertising, which will be rolled out in coming weeks.

Our high vaccination rates, which will be among the highest in the world, have ensured we are in a safe place and these additional safeguards will keep us safer still.

Tasmania is ready to reopen on December 15, and we will continue to keep Tasmanians updated on how we will keep on top of COVID and keep Tasmanians safe.

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