Media Release – Its time for Tasmania to put on a mask

Media Release

Tuesday, 26 July 2022


Its time for Tasmania to put on a mask

Health Consumers Tasmania believes it’s time for the Tasmanian Government to reintroduce a mask mandate to help combat the growing number of COVID cases.

Health Consumers Tasmania CEO, Bruce Levett, said that while we have come a long way since the outbreak of COVID over two-and-a-half years ago, there are still significant risks to our community and these risks continue to grow.

“Unfortunately, what we are all experiencing in Tasmania and across the nation is another wave of COVID – Omicron BA 4 and 5 and it is having a serious impact on our health systems right now,” Mr Levett said.

“We have record numbers of people in hospitals and high levels of COVID infections across our community.  The message is clear, we need to change what we are currently doing because what we are doing at the moment is not working.

“Tasmania has been averaging nearly 1,500 cases a day for most of July and sadly 33 people have lost their life this month alone, which we believe is far too high a price to pay.

“Health Consumers Tasmania calls on the Government to introduce mask mandates in high-risk indoor settings.

“The Government’s current position has been to allow individuals to make their own decision on whether or not they should wear a mask and for each business to decide on their own COVID settings but this needs to be reconsidered.”

“The public and businesses on the most part have not done enough to reduce the risks of COVID and it is having dire consequences on our health system – all three hospitals are now operating on level three which means many people on the waiting lists can’t receive the treatment they need.

“Health Consumers Tasmania urges the Government to reconsider masks being compulsory in indoor settings including schools, retail, and hospitality venues and other high risk indoor workplaces to enable the health system to navigate the current COVID wave.

“We have a duty to others, especially vulnerable Tasmanians, to do our part to help keep them safe.”