Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania


Acting Premier Jeremy Rockliff

The situation in New South Wales, with 112 new infections, is a staunch reminder of how quickly COVID-19 can spread, and the importance indeed that we keep on top of COVID in Tasmania to keep our community safe.

We are maintaining proactive border restrictions to high-risk premises and areas, and I acknowledge the work of our Public Health officials and State Control Centre to manage the ongoing risk of COVID.

I also want to thank very much and very clearly Tasmanians who were affected by the listed Tasmanian exposure sites, following the Tasmanian man who tested positive in the UK, who have self-isolated and tested.

I also want to thank those Tasmanian businesses who were affected over the weekend as they awaited testing results of staff to reopen their doors.

I'm also very pleased that over the weekend, or indeed since Friday, over 2,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted and, indeed, since the sites were announced on Saturday, some 14,050 COVID-19 tests were conducted in response to the call by the Director of Public Health for people to get tested if they were at the sites at the same time as the former hospital staff worker who tested positive in London.

Our Minister for Small Business Jane Howlett, indeed the Premier and myself, have spoken to a number of small businesses and, of course, Minister Howlett is continuing those discussions.

As I've said, this has been a precautionary approach, but in these situations, it is of course necessary and responsible.

Again, I would like to acknowledge those businesses impacted.

We are providing support where it is needed, and this includes immediate assistance to employees through Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants of a one-off payment of $250 which is available to employees who lose wages due to Public Health requiring them to self-isolate, particularly casual employees without leave entitlements.

Businesses are being contacted by Business Tasmania and are being advised to register their impact, which they can do at the website, and can call Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026 for further information.

Small businesses that have incurred direct costs as a result of closure will be invited to apply for critical support assistance.

In regards to our borders, New South Wales and Queensland are now the only states with restrictions for people travelling to Tasmania.

All remaining high-risk premises in Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory were removed, while we have listed the Shellharbour LGA in New South Wales as high risk.

We’ve now more than 33 Local Government Areas and more than 400 high-risk premises for New South Wales listed on Coronavirus Tas website, and we expect more will be added later today.

A reminder to all Tasmanians to be mindful of border restrictions when planning travel interstate.

Anyone who has spent time in a high-risk premises at the specified dates and times will not be permitted to travel to Tasmania, unless they are an essential traveller, and even, even then restrictions apply to ensure the safety of our community.

A reminder that last week marked a number of important changes for the use of the Check-in TAS app.

An expanded number of businesses are now asked to use the Check-in TAS app, with a requirement that all these types of businesses have it in place by 31 July.

All Tasmanians aged 16 years and older are now also required to check in whenever they enter a premises displaying a QR code, irrespective of the period of time that they are in the premises.

In order for the Check-in TAS app to work, we have also to play our part by using it whenever we enter these premises, and can I say just the circumstances over the weekend just highlighted the importance of the Check-in TAS app and how diligently, and indeed quickly, people were contacted in order to ensure Tasmanians are fully aware and, indeed, we can keep our community safe.

Again, I would like to acknowledge businesses in Tasmania who are doing a fantastic job putting these systems in place and remind Tasmanians we must all play our part in ensuring we register as soon as possible and as soon as we walk into a premise, indeed.

As I said,the situation in New South Wales reminds us how volatile the situation is and how important effective contract tracing is to keep on top of COVID-19.

We now have some 26,168 QR sites registered, and my understanding that I backed over the weekend some 250,000 check-ins, and since the Check-in Tas App has been up and running, indeed some 9.3 million check-ins have taken place.

In terms of vaccination, can I say thank you to all Tasmanians who are getting vaccinated, which is an important safeguard for ourselves and indeed our community.

More than 40% of Tasmanians have now received one dose, and over 16% are fully vaccinated, and this is 71,700 fully vaccinated, indeed.

Community clinics for vaccinations have been moving around the State targeting different populations and different priority groups.

To date, community clinics have been held in more than 24 different locations, based on priority groups, population needs or as a way to promote higher take-up.

To further encourage eligible people from all sectors to participate, we are trialling vaccination clinics in large hospitality settings to encourage eligible hospitality and tourism workers to get vaccinated, and the first of these clinics was held on 11 July at West Point and was available to all eligible hospitality workers.

This clinic was also available to aged care workers, and I can confirm that Day One was in fact booked out.

In addition, from last week specialised clinics have been established at Blundstone Arena and at Mowbray, which are supporting NDIS participants, their carers and their support workers.

Specialised clinics are also continuing to run for those who are homeless.

Just before I hand over to Dr Veitch, I do want to use this opportunity to drive home some very key and important messages.

Please use the Check-in TAS app. The circumstances over the weekend again highlighted the importance of that.

Stay home and organise a test, if you have any flu or cold-like symptoms.

Wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes and, importantly, stay home if you're unwell.

Thank you very much.