Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
We are unsurprised at the Liberals’ plan to ditch mandatory check-ins from 6pm tonight, but the Premier’s indication he will consider dropping mask mandates is alarming.
The Check-In Tas app became largely redundant as soon as the Gutwein Government abandoned resourcing for contact tracing. It has become as useless at curbing Covid spread as Peter Gutwein’s cavalier adoption of individual responsibility as a core public health measure.
The numbers of Tasmanians checking in declined when they realised the information was simply going into a black hole.
After Peter Gutwein blithely detailed the increasing school outbreaks, he went on to tell Tasmanians he is considering removing the State’s mask mandate – one of the only remaining public health protections.
There are hundreds of new Covid cases every day, and more than half Tasmania’s schools have cases. Today the State Health Commander confirmed 18,000 school children are yet to even receive a single vaccine dose.
This is the environment in which Peter Gutwein thinks ditching masks is a good idea.
Effective masks provide a level of protection for uninfected wearers, as well as reducing Covid spread from those who are infected. They are a critical public health measure while Covid remains spreading in the community.
It is reckless to consider abandoning masks, and it sends a dangerous message to the community. It seems each day brings a new low for the once-public health focussed Premier.