Tasmania's peak business group is demanding that the state government publicly release its plan to respond to a potential outbreak of the Delta variant, including how regional lockdowns would work.
The community remains unaware what lockdowns would look like in Tasmania - whether it would be whole-of-state like in Victoria, by local government area like in New South Wales, or by the state's three distinct regions: North, North-West and South.
There is also little public information on which sectors would be able to keep operating, such as construction and food retail, and which would be forced to shut down.
The COVID outbreak at the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie in April last year prompted a regional lockdown for the North-West, based on the boundaries of its eight council areas with the closure of businesses deemed non-essential. Travel beyond the boundaries was also restricted.
Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Michael Bailey said the state should follow the lead of South Australia, which has a publicly-available guide detailing business shut downs and the road to reopening.
He said he expected that the government had a clear plan should the Delta variant arrive in Tasmania, which should be shared publicly so the community could know what to expect.
"If we do see a case rolling out in the state, we will know quickly which areas would need to shut, and again we would know quickly which businesses would need to remain open," Mr Bailey said.
"Clearly, for example, we still need to eat. We still need to build things. So you would expect construction, retail, food retail and others to remain open.
"We don't know that yet. So what we need to understand is what these businesses would be, we need to understand what would be required of them, and again what would need to be in place for those restrictions to be lifted as well."
The separation of Tasmania into three distinct region could be used as an advantage to contain the spread, Mr Bailey said.
"The point we're even asking this question, to me, is a bit astounding considering the amount of time that we've had, I would expect our government to have made it very clear by now exactly what would happen in the case of an outbreak in the state," he said.
The TCCI wrote to Premier Peter Gutwein several weeks ago requesting this information.
It argued that the issue of "transparency" in government decision-making was referred to in the Premier's Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council report released in March, although the report had no specific reference to publicly releasing plans of this nature.
With lockdown starting in the ACT on Thursday, Tasmania became the last state or territory not to experience a lockdown as a result of the Delta variant.
The arrival of a COVID-positive man into Launceston Airport from NSW on August 2, and his subsequent departure on August 4, has not resulted in any positive cases being detected in Tasmania.
Government says plans are in place to protect against Delta
On Wednesday, the government announced its four-point "Delta Shield Plan" which included borders controls with stronger penalties for breaches, extending the reach of the vaccination program, increase the capacity of contact tracing and a business support package.
A Tasmania Government spokesperson said the COVID "case and outbreak management framework" for the state was publicly available, which was published to the Department of Health website last October.
The spokesperson said the Premier had been "open and transparent" throughout the COVID pandemic, but did not respond to questions regarding whether a plan to respond to a Delta outbreak would be publicly released.
"Each of these plans and strategies are regularly updated to reflect the latest information and medical advice, and all are regularly reviewed to ensure that they continue to provide Tasmanian with the best safeguards," the spokesperson said.
Western Australia has announced that NSW arrivals must show proof of vaccination to enter the state.
Mr Bailey said this could be a glimpse of what future cross-border travel would look like - and he supported this type of move - but the government would not be drawn on whether it would take a similar approach.
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