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THE State Government has introduced stricter self-isolation regulations as the state’s tally of coronavirus infections increases. As of today there has been a total of 69 cases, including one death. A number have fully recovered.
The Director of Public Health today issued two directives tightening the requirements around self-isolating and banning public gatherings of more than two people. On-the-spot fines of $750 for individuals and $5000 for businesses may apply.
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Under the new regulations, Tasmanians are directed to stay at home unless necessary. The State Government has issued the following explanatory notes:
Can I leave home? Tasmanians should stay at home unless they need to be away from home:
- shopping for supplies or services; or
- undertaking personal exercise; or
- attending medical, or health care, appointments or for medical treatment; or
- providing social support, or care, to another person (including compassionate needs, or to facilitate shared custody, guardianship or care arrangements for another person); or
- attending school or study, if unable to be performed at the person’s home; or
- attending work, or volunteering, if unable to be performed at the person’s home; or
- seeking veterinary services for an animal;
- performing essential maintenance, or security inspections, of another premises owned, or occupied, by the person;
- attending another location if you have a reasonable excuse to attend the location.
Should I be going to work? Yes you should but ensure that you follow the social distancing rules and if you can and agreed by your employer you should work from home. If you are sick, you must not attend your workplace. You must stay at home and away from others, except to seek medical treatment.
What are essential supplies? Food and other household supplies as well as pharmaceutical or medical supplies. Those things you may need for urgent home repairs or maintenance or getting your vehicle serviced or repaired. As long as the business is not a prohibited venue or service you may attend the business to shop for the supplies and services you need to keep your household running and care for members of your household.
What is a prohibited business, venue or service? Each of the premises listed in Schedule 1 must not open or be operated (eg. restaurants, cafes and food courts, with the exception of takeaway) whilst the Direction is in force. Each of the services listed in Schedule 2 must not be provided whilst the Direction is in force.
Should I be using public transport? Yes to attend 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.
How often can I go out to get supplies? As necessary – however it is suggested that you limit this to as few times per week as possible.
Should I still be sending my kids to 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. Schools will remain open for the remainder of the first term, however students will only need attend until Friday 3rd of April as Monday 6th April to the 9th of April will be student free to enable schools and teachers to complete the professional learning required to finalise the delivery of a home and online model from the beginning of the new term post the holidays.
What about child care? Yes, if required, children can still attend childcare.
Should grandparents be looking after grandchildren? Tasmania’s elderly population is at a higher risk. Always keep elderly persons well away from any unwell children that are present in the household. This does not mean grandparents cannot see grandchildren, but extra care should be taken to avoid any contact with someone that is unwell.
Can I still exercise outdoors? Yes, exercise is encouraged as an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, however the 2 person rule outdoors applies, except if it is members of your household, custody or guardianship arrangements, exercising together.
Can I check on my neighbours? Yes you can provide support to your neighbours, but only 2 people may visit at any one time.
Can I take my kids to the park? Yes you can but you shouldn’t use the playground or exercise equipment.
Can I go to the post office? Yes collecting your mail is considered essential.
Can I go to my shack at Easter? No, you will not be able to go to your shacks for school holidays or for Easter, or at any time unless to conduct urgent maintenance or repairs or a day trip security check. Our shack communities are small, many are the place of choice for our older retired community and as is well understood retirees are older and more vulnerable. By moving between your house and your shack you are creating a great risk for our community
What about families who share custody? 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.
What fines or penalties will be applied for non-compliance? There will be on-the-spot fines of $750 for individuals or $5000 for businesses for non-compliance of any COVID-19 directions.