Keeping Tasmanians safe and secure – Stay Home, Save Lives

31 Mar 2020

Peter Gutwein, Premier

I want to express my gratitude to each and every Tasmanian who is doing the right thing, by staying home and saving lives.

As we continue to face both the social and economic challenges presented to us by COVID-19, we will all need to adapt to changes and a different daily routine.

To be clear, as of midnight last night Tasmanians should stay at home unless you are:

  • getting food, essential supplies or accessing essential services;
  • going to work or school;
  • exercising; or
  • for medical or compassionate care reasons.

There are also a small number of additional reasons for you to be away from home, which include:

  • volunteering;
  • seeking veterinary services for an animal;
  • performing essential maintenance, or security inspections, of another premises owned, or occupied, by the person; and
  • attending another location if you have a reasonable excuse to attend the location in the opinion of the Director of Public Health.

But if you’re in doubt – stay home, and save lives.

Tasmanians need to be aware that as of today, it is an offence to be away from your home unless for one of the reasons outlined above, with penalties that could be up to $16,800 or up to six months’ jail time.

I understand that these new rules are tough, and that they impose a significant burden on the lives of Tasmanians.

The reason we are implementing these changes is because the best way to minimise your chances of catching and spreading the coronavirus, is to stay at home as much as you can.

I know it won’t be easy, which is why there is now significant support available, at all levels of government, and help available to those that need it.

For example, we have significantly increased funding for foodbanks, mental health support, charities, and not for profit organisations, and to support Tasmanians to adjust to a lifestyle where we spend so much more time at home.

Yesterday’s Australian Government announcement of a $130 billion Job Keepers package will also support Tasmanian workers to keep their jobs, and complements our close to $1 billion State support packages.

We will get through this, and we will get through this together. We will come out the other side.

For now, please, stay home and save lives.

Additional stay at home guidance

Work

In regards to going to work, you should work from home if possible. If not, you need to ensure that you follow the social distancing rules and if you can and agreed by your employer you should work from home.

Importantly, if you are sick, you must not attend your workplace. You must stay at home and away from others, except to seek medical treatment.

School

Parents who are able to provide appropriate care for their children at home are encouraged to do so.

However, schools will remain open to provide an education for those children that do attend, and will continue their work transitioning to a new operating model of providing support for home and online learning and for the support of essential service workers.

Public Transport

You can still use public transport if it is for the purposes of  attending school or work or obtaining supplies or attending medical, or health care, appointments or for medical treatment. Non-essential travel is to be avoided.

Please observe social distancing when on public transport, and if possible sit in the back seat of taxis and ride share vehicles.

Exercise

While we are staying at home, it is equally important we look after our mental health and physical wellbeing and we strongly encourage exercise as an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, preferably in your local neighbourhood. Remember, the two person rule outdoors applies, except if it is members of your household, custody or guardianship arrangements, exercising together. There is detail on the coronavirus.tas.gov.au website which details other approved reasonable activities, with stringent guidance on social distancing measures and ensuring the two people public gathering rule.

Partners, Families and Friends

As long as the two person rule is adhered to, people can visit their family, partner or check on neighbours.  However, we would absolutely caution people from having anyone over who is unwell.

Custody arrangements still need to be managed and adhered to, unless otherwise altered by mutual arrangements/agreements. Children can live at each partner’s home in line with custody arrangements.

Elderly Tasmanians

We also know that while coronavirus does not discriminate, it’s particularly challenging for those who are vulnerable.

The Australian Government updated its advice based on health advice that people who are over 65 with underlying health conditions, rather than those over 60 as well as those over 70, should consider self-isolation to protect themselves.

This is strong guidance not a mandatory position, as we know there are essential workers who are in these age brackets, and volunteers for whom this may not be an option.

For more information visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au