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Further Windback of COVID-19 Restrictions

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The state government will bring forward further easing of restrictions from noon Friday 26 June. “Tasmanians are to be congratulated on their continued efforts to keep one another safe, including maintaining high testing numbers to ensure we know if there is detection of the virus in the community,” said Premier Peter Gutwein. The looser COVID-19 […]

The state government will bring forward further easing of restrictions from noon Friday 26 June.

“Tasmanians are to be congratulated on their continued efforts to keep one another safe, including maintaining high testing numbers to ensure we know if there is detection of the virus in the community,” said Premier Peter Gutwein.

The looser COVID-19 restrictions are outlined as follows:

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The only dampener on the fun is that patrons must be seated in premises where alcohol is sold, such as pubs, bars and nightclubs, meaning activities that are not seated (eg pool, dancing) are not permitted.

The recommendation remains to practice 1.5m physical distancing where possible.

The Premier indicated that further consideration will be given to premises that can seat over 1000 people following national cabinet on Friday.

“I have always said that when it comes to easing restrictions, we will take a responsible and sensible approach, to avoid a situation where we let our guard down too soon and compromise all the good work we have achieved in Tasmania,” said the Premier.

He said the government will continue to engage with public health experts to manage the coronavirus situation in the state. Tasmania has now passed 39 days without a new case of coronavirus. The total remains at 226 known cases from 45,440 tests, with 213 recoveries and 13 deaths. Testing continues at a rate of approximately 600 per day.

“While the virus is not eradicated, nor is there a vaccine, we have in place our four safeguards, which continue to be our best defence against the virus, and I ask Tasmanians not to become complacent,” the Premier warned.

Meanwhile  the government decided to postpone a wage increase for senior public servants, which would normally be considered at this time of the year, until the Budget period later this year in November.

Economic and Business Conditions

Labor welcomed the announcement today eased patron restrictions for businesses as a ‘common sense decision’ in response to calls from across the community. Shadow Minister for Small Business Anita Dow said the change will effectively double the number of patrons businesses can have on their premises.

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“This decision couldn’t come soon enough for businesses,” she said. “It means they will be more confident to open their doors, and they will be better able to get Tasmanians back into jobs.”

“Despite more than a month of no new cases, Peter Gutwein has been slow to respond to calls to ease restrictions, even after more than 20,000 people have lost their jobs.”

Dow said the importance of measures to support businesses has been emphasised by data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The national data shows 30 % of small businesses report they do not have enough cash reserves to support operations under current conditions for more than three months, and eight % say they have less than a month’s cash reserves.

“For businesses in the accommodation and food services category, this figure is even higher,” Dow noted.

Dow said Labor will continue to advocate for measures that support business recovery and job creation, while placing the utmost priority on public health and safety.

Electricity issue

Shadow Energy Minister, David O’Byrne, criticised the Liberals’ for “ignorance of the current pressures faced by businesses.”

“Labor has heard from a small business who has not been eligible for government power bill support because they have been tenants of a multi-tenanted property,” he said.

He explained that the business’ electricity is metered internally, and the building owner invoices them their share of energy, yet the government has failed to provide them, or the building owner, with the power bill waiver they are eligible for as a small business.

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“This business pleaded with Guy Barnett for assistance and yet eight weeks have passed and they have still not heard a single word from the Minister.,” O’Byrne said. “This is yet another stunning display of cold disregard for the situation businesses find themselves in as they continued to run freezers and cool rooms and other equipment in the hope they could bounce back once restrictions were lifted.

He called on the Premier to provide power relief to businesses that have “clearly been impacted by the COVID-19 related restrictions and are desperate for assistance.”

Source: Tasmanian Times https://tasmaniantimes.com/2020/06/further-windback-of-covid-19-restrictions/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=further-windback-of-covid-19-restrictions

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