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Coronavirus and vaccination update

9 July 2021

Peter Gutwein, Premier

The health and safety of all Tasmanians remains the Tasmanian Government’s number one priority and we continue to take an agile and proportionate response to managing our borders.

From midnight tonight, both the Brisbane and Moreton Bay areas will be downgraded to low risk following the improved COVID-19 situation in those areas and the relaxation of restrictions with 11 Queensland Local Government Areas on Wednesday.

This now means that all 13 Local Government areas in Queensland have been downgraded to low risk and travel is now permitted to and from these areas.

However, there remain a number of high risk premises in Queensland and people are asked to check the coronavirus websites for updates.

Our thoughts remain with New South Wales as they work to get on top of what is a very concerning outbreak in that State.

Tasmania’s border restrictions with the Greater Sydney area and several adjoining local government areas in NSW will remain in place until authorities are able to get on top of the virus.

I urge anyone who has recently travelled to regularly check the coronavirus website for up to date information as the list of high risk premises changes frequently.

Public Health Services is working to establish the movements of a person in who tested positive for COVID-19 two days after they left Tasmania and arrived in London.

The person, a healthcare worker, left Tasmania on 2 July. They tested negative for COVID-19 prior to leaving Tasmania and arrived in London on 3 July, transiting through Melbourne and Singapore. On 4 July, they tested positive for COVID-19.

While there is no evidence that this person contracted COVID-19 while they were in Tasmania, or was infectious while they were in Tasmania, Public Health Services is taking a precautionary approach to ensure there is no risk to the Tasmanian community.

A list of places the person visited between 23 June and 2 July is being compiled by Public Health Services and will be published tomorrow morning. People who were at those places at the same time will be advised to be tested for COVID-19 as a precaution.

Further advice will be provided by Public Health shortly and further information will be released tomorrow, with site and location details to be published at www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au.

National Cabinet met again today and we agreed to continue our efforts to strongly encourage residential disability support workers to have their vaccination as soon as possible. The uptake in the sector will be reviewed again in August before a decision is made about making the vaccine mandatory.

In relation to our vaccination roll-out, Tasmanians are continuing to roll up their sleeves with the highest vaccination coverage of first doses in the country.

I’m also pleased to announce that we are working to approve up to a dozen urban pharmacies in the north or Hobart, Launceston’s north and Devonport where there is low GP coverage or low rates of vaccination.

Once approved the Commonwealth will onboard the pharmacies and distribute up to 300 doses of AstraZeneca per week to each pharmacy.

With pharmacies taking on the remainder of the AstraZeneca load, our GPs can start to transition to majority delivery of Pfizer to our under 60s.

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