Tasmania’s Business Leaders Call For Eased Restrictions Despite Covid Cases Rising
Too great a risk
The state government has suggested close contact rules could be scrapped as early as next month.
The revelations follow calls from the Tasmanian Small Business Council (TSBC) and Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) have called for quarantine requirements to be eased in a bid to get businesses back in track.
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Director of Public Health, Dr Mark Veitch, said the current surge in Covid cases means it’s currently too big a risk, however restrictions could be eased in another month or two.
“The risk is at the moment when there is a lot of Covid around is if you take out that measure of quarantine which is the best way of preventing onward transmission, you may actually make the situation worse for businesses rather than better to allow people if you like to skip quarantine,” he said.
“The experience of a number of countries overseas that have dropped quarantine has seen quite steep spikes in case numbers and some of the other mainland Australian states have done some modelling that suggests the consequences of the premature dropping of quarantine requirements could make things worse rather than better.”
“We’ve had a fairly prolonged surge of the BA.2 strain but it’s likely that will begin to ease during April so the appropriate time to think about whether we replace contact management by quarantine with contact management by other measures such as RATS and the like is probably later in April,” Dr Veitch said.
TCCI CEO, Michael Bailey said businesses are suffering and workers are out of pocket under the current policy.
“Tasmania has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and while the COVID infection rate is high, hospitalisations and those in ICU are low, so it is time to move forward,” Mr Bailey said.
It comes as the state recorded 2,108 new infections on Friday, with the number of active cases across Tasmania at 12,883.
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