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Caution and Public Safety Campaign Needed as Borders Reopen

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 26 October 2020

Tags: COVID-19, Health

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson


Cassy O’Connor MP:

With borders reopening today, the Gutwein Government needs to reinforce public health messages to keep Tasmanians safe. There must also be support for businesses and service providers to help them keep their premises COVID-safe as numbers likely increase at venues.

Tasmanians have become relaxed about social distancing in recent months, but that will have to change as interstate visitors enter the State. 

We urge the government to invest in a strong public information campaign to help keep Tasmanians safe. Public health messages must be reinforced - where there's complacency, there's danger.

Now is the time for government to apply maximum caution as we ease back into increasing visitor numbers from interstate. In the middle of a pandemic, it's simply not sensible to heavily market Tasmania as a visitor destination, particularly given the under-resourcing of our public hospital system. 

Tasmanians need to be sure that the public health system is able to respond in the event that there's another infection, or potential outbreak. 

Over the past seven months, Tasmanians have made a lot of sacrifices. Maximum caution is required - including on the part of government.


Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP: 

Tasmania has taken the approach all along of being guided by public health advice. Now is the time to expand these messages.

With our borders open to most states, we need to raise our alert levels. Vigilance is critical, and all Tasmanians need to be practicing COVID-safe behaviours. 

If a case of coronavirus is identified in Tasmania, it is incredibly important the Gutwein Government responds immediately. We have to employ the lessons learnt by Victoria and New South Wales. 

In the event of an outbreak, crack teams of contact tracers need to be mobilised and pop-up testing stations established to limit the spread. 

Tasmania is in a good place, relative to elsewhere on the planet. If we want to stay this way, the government needs to be proactive with novel educational campaigns that reinforce the importance of practicing life-saving public health behaviours. 

Businesses and service providers also need government support to remind customers to be COVID-safe, so we can carefully ease our state into the tourism season.