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Tasmania needs expanded mandatory testing, COVID-19 management plan

  • Too many weak links in current processes putting Tasmanians at risk
  • Government must explain how future outbreaks will be managed
  • Mandatory testing needed for all arrivals from Victoria, other hotspots

Tasmanian Labor is calling on the Premier to strengthen procedures around arrivals into the state and give Tasmanians a clear idea of how any future COVID19 outbreaks will be managed.

Shadow Minister for Health Sarah Lovell said the worsening situation in Victoria and other hotspots around Australia is causing community concern and Tasmanians need to know what to expect in the event of another outbreak.

“The crisis in Victoria and parts of New South Wales and Queensland has shown us how lucky we have been in Tasmania to date,” Ms Lovell said.

“But protection of public health is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain and we are seeing too many weak links right now.

“Over the past week alone, concerns have been raised with us about numerous issues relating to arrivals into Tasmania and the potential for a second wave here. Weak points have been identified at various stages of the process, including:

  • The transfer of passengers from ports and airports on crowded buses, with no provision of personal protective equipment
  • Poor management of the transfer of arrivals to quarantine hotels, with the potential for mingling between passengers and members of the public
  • The failure to test all arrivals from Victoria, with mandatory testing only applying to essential travellers – and only from today
  • And technical glitches, ambiguity and confusion with the G2G pass for essential travel.

Ms Lovell said while we may only have one active case in Tasmania at the moment, people are arriving in the state every day and Tasmanians are rightly concerned about a second wave.

“We need mandatory testing of all arrivals from Victoria and other hotspots and the government must explain to the community its future COVID-19 management strategy, including how any future outbreaks will be managed.

“This is one of the priority actions in the Premier’s own Economic and Social Advisory Council’s (PESRAC) interim report and yet he has so far failed to deliver, more than a week after the report’s release.

“Tasmanians need confidence that any new cases will be managed properly. The government must do all it can to keep our state and all Tasmanians safe.”

Sarah Lovell
Shadow Minister for Health