Tasmanians in the North and North West of the state are not in lockdown but have been asked by Premier Peter Gutwein to stay within their regions unless for essential reasons.
A three-day lockdown for the south of Tasmania starting at 6 pm tonight means people from several municipalities will only be allowed to leave their home for five reasons, and must wear masks indoors and outdoors when leaving home.
The snap lockdown was announced by Premier Peter Gutwein at 2.30pm this afternoon after an "increasing number" of contacts connected to a COVID positive man have now been identified.
Public Health director Mark Veitch said the risk is mostly confined to southern Tasmania, but warned that infection was a risk for everyone.
"Anybody, anywhere in the state could get infected," Dr Veitch said.
A trip to the Bridgewater Woolworths by the infected COVID-man on Wednesday October 13 resulted in that location being identified as an exposure site, and up to 80 people have now been identified as being in that store at that time through the COVID Safe App.
There are now 39 primary close contacts identified who are at the highest risk of becoming infected with the disease, 17 of these have returned negative results in early testing, and the remaining 22 results will be known tomorrow.
A further 19 casual contacts have also been identified, and their results will be returned over the weekend.
A lack of information supplied to Public Health by the man, the discovery of his visit to Woolworths and the discovery of an additional exposure site at a northern suburbs park, via information from another member of the public, has led to the government's snap lockdown decision.
Dr Veitch said it would be disproportionate to apply lockdown measures to the North and North West of Tasmania, but added that there are now up to 80 people who were in the Woolworths store who could have travelled from, or to, anywhere in the state.
"We are now three days since the time this person was in Woolworths so people who potentially got infected in that situation could have moved around Hobart or into the nearby government areas," he said.
"While Bridgewater is the focus of this, the people that went to the Bridgewater supermarket could have come from Taroona, could have come from New Norfolk. We do need to be mindful that an undue focus on a particular area might prevent people who are at risk from coming forward."
Mr Gutwein urged everyone in the state to remain vigilant and get tested if they experienced even the mildest of cold and flu symptoms.
"If you are outside the lockdown region, please do not travel into those areas in lockdown unless for essential or emergency reasons."
The southern municipalities in lockdown include Glamorgan Spring Bay, Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman council areas.
READ MORE: South of Tasmania in snap lockdown from 6pm
Over the three days cafes, restaurants and bars will be open for takeaways only, construction sites will shut down and hardware stores will only be open to tradespeople or for essential and emergency supplies.
Parents have been advised to keep their children home from school on Monday unless they are essential workers, or the child is unable to complete school work from home.
Exercise can only happen within 5 kilometres of your home, and only once for a maximum of two hours.
WHY CAN YOU LEAVE HOME?
Premier Peter Gutwein said there are only five reasons you can leave home.
- shopping for essential supplies such as food, beverage, fuel and health goods within five kilometres of home
- for personal exercise, either alone or with members of houeshold, or one other person for safety reasons, for two hours, within five kilometres of home
- to attend medical or other health appointments, included being tested or vaccinated for COVID
- to go to work if you are an essential worker
- for school on Monday, if child has a parent who is an essential worker, or if it is not suitable for child to be schooling from home.
Mr Gutwein said other permitted reasons included to attend veterinary services, child or day care, providing support to a vulnerable person, or travel for custody parenting arrangements.
He encouraged people to visit the government coronavirus website to see what the snap lockdown means for individual families or businesses.
Businesses with a COVID safety plan which are permitted to open can do so, but other businesses such as day spas and hairdressers will be closed, while other permitted businesses may be open but with restrictions.
He said indoor and outdoor gatherings are not allowed, funerals must have no more than ten guests, and weddings are not allowed unless for "compassionate reasons", and these will be capped at five guests.
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