Calls For Close Contact Rules To Be Ditched Amid ‘Widespread Disruption”

Enormous impact

Article heading image for Calls For Close Contact Rules To Be Ditched Amid ‘Widespread Disruption”


Like a music track stuck on repeat, Covid continues to disrupt Tasmanian workers, small businesses, and industry, driving calls for close contact rules to be reviewed.

Unions and industry leaders are all hearing of “widespread disruption” for workers in the public and private sectors.

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“There is the added stress on workers now, having lived through over two years of this pandemic, who are fast running out of sick leave and eating into annual leave because of multiple instances of being a close contact, having the virus, or caring for someone has it,Unions Tasmania secretary Jess Munday said.

“We need to remember that over a quarter of Tasmania’s workforce is casual which means they have no sick leave at all."

“Many permanent employees only have the bare minimum of 10 days sick leave which gets used very quickly if you and someone else in your house catches Covid," she said.

“Unions continue to fear that people are again being placed in impossible positions where they are forced to choose between coming to work sick or losing pay.”

- Jess Munday

Meanwhile, the teachers’ union warns schools are concerned they won't make it to the end of the week with one school citing up to 86 staff absent.

Australian Education Union Tasmanian president David Genford said stress levels had “never been so high” for teachers and staff.

“The impact is enormous, some schools are concerned they won’t make it through next week, many teachers are at breaking point, relief co-ordinators are losing their home lives altogether and there’s no additional support and resources from government at all,” Mr Genford said.

With workers frustrated they must stay home, as a close contact of a Covid case, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey said he continually hears the same gripe.

“I’m hearing continually of people being off work who don’t have Covid but are close contacts,” he said.

“I have a board member who has four children who got Covid one by one, and he hasn’t tested positive but has had to work from home for the past three weeks."

“It’s frustrating when people get negative RATs but can’t go back to work," he said.

Meantime, Tasmania has recorded three Covid deaths overnight, the state's highest reported figure in a single day, with 1,839 new cases.


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Hit News Team

13 April 2022

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