Tasmania to lift its own ban on aged care visits after Mother’s Day

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Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says the state will lift its own ban on non-essential visitors to its aged care homes in line with the new Visitor Access Code to start 11 May – but he will wait until the last minute and only relax the ban at midnight on Monday next week.

Mr Gutwein’s comments suggest he strongly disagrees with the Prime Minister and National Cabinet’s decision to push for families to visit aged care homes.

“I will own this decision on Mother’s Day,” he said yesterday, adding: “it is unfortunate that the restrictions will be in place for another week, based on public health advice.”

“I think the best Mother’s Day present that anybody could provide their mother is to keep them safe … The restrictions are designed to keep our older and more vulnerable population safe.”

As we reported here, Tasmania restricted visitors to its aged care homes on 6 April – just under four weeks ago.

Mr Gutwein says he will release a staged “road map” for the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Tasmania following Friday’s National Cabinet meeting, but warned the state would “march to the beat of its own drum” in lifting restrictions because of its “older and more vulnerable” population.

Tasmania currently has 44 actives cases from a total of 221 confirmed cases, but has recorded 13 deaths – three among aged care residents and home care recipients.

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