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(Image: Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema)

Social distancing in Tasmania began to ease on May 18, on commencement of stage one of the recovery plan.

Since May 18, up to 5 people can visit a household and 10 people can meet in public indoor and outdoor settings.

Here is the latest update on:

  • Social distancing in Tasmania
  • Education
  • Work
  • Travel 
  • What businesses are closed in Tasmania?
  • What are the fines if you don’t follow the rules?

(This article will be updated as new changes are implemented to keep you informed.)

Social distancing in Tasmania

As of May 18, residents of Tasmania can welcome up to 5 visitors to their home. Group gatherings of 10 people are also allowed in public indoor and outdoor venues, as long as physical distancing guidelines are observed such as maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres from one another.

Tasmanians may also leave their homes for the following reasons: 

  • Shopping for supplies or services;
  • Receiving medical care;
  • Facilitating shared parenting arrangements, guardianship or care arrangements for another person;
  • Exercising, including the use of outdoor gyms, playgrounds and skate-parks;
  • Attending work, volunteering, school and study, where it cannot be done remotely;
  • Taking a pet to a veterinarian or providing reasonable measures to ensure the welfare of an animal;
  • Performing essential maintenance on other premises owned by them; and
  • Launching a boat in the same municipal area as their primary residence.

The number of people who can attend funerals has increased from 10 to 20. 30 people can attend funerals that are held outdoors.

Social distancing rules in Tasmania are similar to New South Wales and Victoria, although the state’s rules have been more lenient throughout lockdown. 

For instance, Tasmanians are still allowed to legally sell their possessions on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, provided they follow responsible social distancing guidelines, such as good personal hygiene and a physical distance of 1.5 metres from other people. 

Tasmanians are also allowed to exercise horses, go boating, hunting, fishing and surfing, as long as the two-person rule is adhered to. 

Education

The Tasmanian government is urging students to continue learning from home unless they need to physically attend school. 

Schools in Tasmania’s north-west reopened on May 4, following a three-week lockdown that came in the wake of a coronavirus outbreak at the North West Regional Hospital. 

According to the Tasmanian government, “keeping children at home and supporting their learning where possible is the best thing we can do to support Tasmania’s response to COVID-19”.

From May 25, kindergarten to Year 6 students will return to school and Year 11 and 12 students at extension schools and colleges return to learning at school.

Work

Currently, there are no updates on businesses reopening and work going back to normal. The outbreak in the north-west of Tasmania may lead to further delays in restrictions being lifted in Tasmania. 

Travel 

Tasmania, like Victoria, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, does not have border restrictions in place, however, those who cross the Tasmanian border will be subject to the restrictions of surrounding states. If you are entering Tasmania from another state, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Buses and coaches in Tasmania are still operating and are currently free of charge to limit physical contact between drivers and passengers. Responsible social distancing is required for those who need to use public transport, which includes staying 1.5 metres away from fellow passengers and washing your hands before and after your journey. Greencards for the metro have been free of charge since March 26, and will continue to be so until May 31, to encourage cashless transactions. 

School buses are also still in action while the number of students taking them is low. 

What businesses are closed in Tasmania?

The following businesses and facilities have been instructed to close by the Tasmanian government:

  • All venues where alcohol is sold for consumption on the premises 
  • Amusement parks and arcades
  • Auction houses
  • Beauty salons
  • Gyms and indoor sporting areas
  • Caravans, camping parks and campsites
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Community and recreation centres
  • Community facilities, such as halls, clubs and RSLs
  • Concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums and stadiums
  • Food courts, except for delivery and takeaway
  • Food markets 
  • Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites
  • Garage sales
  • Horse racing and greyhound racing
  • Indoor and outdoor play centres
  • Libraries, community centres and youth centres
  • Local government non-essential facilities and services, such as libraries and pools
  • Mobile food vans/businesses
  • Play equipment in public playgrounds and parks
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections (private inspection appointments are permitted)
  • Religious gatherings and places of worship
  • Strip clubs, and sex on premises venues
  • Swimming pools
  • Ubet betting shopfronts (TAB agencies).

What are the fines if you don’t follow the rules?

The Tasmanian state emergency service, Australian defence members and fire service volunteers are currently carrying out spot checks across Tasmania. 

On-the-spot penalties could be fines of up to $16,800, or six months in jail.

Read: Coronavirus statistics | When will the lockdown end?

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