Tens of thousands of Tasmanians lost their jobs on Monday due to the reaction to the coronavirus, and further strict measures to protect public health are on the way, said Prime Minister Peter Gutwein.
A grim prime minister urged the public to follow the measures required by health officials – and said the police are ready to enforce the law that prescribes self-isolation for people, including Minister of Sports, Leisure, and Racing Jane Howlett.
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Ms. Howlett went into self-isolation after her chief of staff may have been exposed to a coronavirus case.
“Yesterday was a tough day for many Tasmanians,” he said.
“Tens of thousands of Tasmanians lost their jobs yesterday. The measures we take are serious because we want to protect people’s health, well-being and safety.
“It is important that everyone understands that this is not a game. It is very serious. It is a matter of life and death.
“Yesterday was the first stage. The next stage will be even stricter measures. I want to make it clear that these many measures are being considered – consideration is being given to moving to a hard ban. “
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The authorities announced six new cases in the state overnight – five cruise passengers and one overseas traveler.
The state had 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases: 17 were picked up during an overseas trip and 11 on board ships.
The prime minister also revealed:
* Stricter measures are being considered for Tasmania, including a “hard lock”.
* Police and Biosecurity Tasmana were preparing to enforce isolation regulations for public health and other measures to slow the spread of the virus.
* Only Tasmanian residents and necessary personnel were allowed on board the Spirit of Tasmania ferries and all other potential passengers were rejected.
Mr. Gutwein said he was concerned about losing so many jobs in a single day.
“I’ve spent most of my public life building a strong economy and working with you to create these jobs,” he said.
“It breaks my heart to have to take the steps we took yesterday. And I am very sorry for all of you who have lost your job that these companies are affected.
“For all other Tasmanians, do not let go of these victims. Let them mean something. Follow the rules and take the appropriate steps. If you are asked to isolate yourself, isolate them and do not break them Regulate.
“I believe that the vast majority of Tasmanians do the right thing when asked to isolate themselves, but examples are given where people flaunt the rules.
“I would like to say again: Stop deliberately endangering people’s lives. Stick to the rules and stick to self-isolation.”
“There are penalties and we will apply them.”