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Government's Covid Risk Level ‘Low’ as Christmas Wave Approaches

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 21 November 2023

Tags: COVID-19

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Leader

The release of new Covid vaccines for children over five and over 12 years old is welcome news. We encourage all Tasmanian families to book in for a booster, as cases rise leading up to Christmas.

Being up to date with vaccines is the best way to reduce the risk of severe Covid infection to your family. Protecting children from Covid and the impact on growing bodies of infection and reinfection should be encouraged by the Rockliff Government.

Experts estimate hundreds of thousands of Australians are currently infected with Covid, and project this will rise to millions closer to Christmas. At this time of year, socialising and spreading virus is inevitable given governments have abandoned their responsibility to protect the health of the community.

Despite this projections – and the tragic deaths of seven Tasmanians in the last reporting period – the government's Covid risk level is still set at ‘low’.  In the hub of the festive season, how are Tasmanians expected to take Covid risk seriously if the government won’t?

We know masks are required in hospitals and many high risk settings, so why not tell the general public the real risk?

When the government dropped the risk level to ‘low’ they justified that decision by saying cases were "decreasing or stable", and that they'd increase it if needed. Clearly the situation has changed, and the advice from government should reflect the significant amount of Covid circulating in the community.

The Rockliff Liberals should lift the risk level now, so people understand they need to protect their friends and family at Christmas. At a minimum, we can encourage people with symptoms to have a test and wear a mask, socialise in well-ventilated places, and keep up to date with Covid boosters.