Business Leaders Call For Tasmania To Ditch Close Contact Rules

As case numbers trend down

Article heading image for Business Leaders Call For Tasmania To Ditch Close Contact Rules

Tasmania's business leaders are calling on the state government to ditch close contact requirements, following the trail blazed by NSW and Victoria this week.

The Tasmanian Small Business Council (TSBC) claim the current isolation rules for close contacts are interfering with the state's economic recovery, requesting the rules be tossed away or eased.

"It is clear that with the bulk of the community vaccinated, falling rates of hospitalisation and the plateauing of COVID cases, that the close contact rules should be scrapped," TSBC chief executive officer Robert Mallett said.

"Put simply, if people think they have COVID or are showing symptoms, they should take a Rapid Antigen Test and if it is positive stay at home.

"If people are testing themselves solely because a contact has COVID and they return a negative test, they should return to work."

- TSBC CEO Robert Mallett

Michael Bailey, head of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) reiterated the response, adding that businesses are still in shutdown as close contacts lead to staff shortages.

"It is time to get the state of Tasmania working again," he said.

"Now is the time for people to return to the workplace, not sit at home perfectly well because a loved one has COVID."


It comes as Premier Jeremy Rockliff revealed 1,468 new cases overnight, in addition to the death of a man in his 60s.

"I extend my sincere condolences to the man's family, friends, and loved ones in this extremely difficult and sad time," Mr Rockliff said.

Rockliff maintained that case numbers and hospital admissions are on the decline, but did not make a comment on COVID rules easing.

"We are continuing to see day to day fluctuations in case numbers, but overall, cases are trending downwards across the last seven days compared to the peak seen earlier this month," Mr Rockliff said.

"Our hospitalisations remain among the lowest in the nation, and we expect to see the number of people in hospital for COVID decline over the next few weeks."

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21 April 2022

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