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With changed requirements for Check In Tas, community queries mask mandate | The Examiner


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With masks to remain mandated in Tasmania for at least next month, there have been mixed responses to the importance of masks in indoor settings. It comes after Premier Peter Gutwein announced the Check In TAS app was no longer required at the majority of Tasmanian venues, and restrictions have begun to ease in New South Wales and Victoria. Disability advocate Kristen Desmond said COVID-19 remained a serious threat for people with a disability, and said there was a risk that people may choose to stay at home and become increasingly isolated if the mask mandate was lifted. READ MORE: Listen in: Triple zero dispatcher saves life of Kings Meadows man “Decisions like removing the requirement to wear masks should not be made lightly,” she said. “Given the serious negative consequences this decision can have on our most vulnerable.” Ms Desmond said she wanted to see consultation between the government and people with a disability before any decisions were made about changes to the current mandate. READ MORE: Mask-wearing to continue in Tasmania for the next month “If the mask mandate is removed, what extra mitigation strategies will be in place to ensure people with a disability are kept safe?,” she said. “I would encourage the government not to make any changes to the mask mandate with genuine consultation with people with a disability themselves.” Speaking to members of the Launceston community on Saturday, there were differing views on the necessity of the mask mandate. Hospitality worker Grace Lewis said she felt that masks should be phased out of restaurants and cafes, as it made her job more difficult. “I believe that masks should be relaxed in some settings such as restaurants and for staff at restaurants,” she said. READ MORE: Plans drop for what could be Launceston’s newest roof-top bar “As soon as customers come in and start to eat and drink, they take their masks off. “And as wait staff we are handling plates and cutlery and glassware used by customers, so it doesn’t make much sense to have a mask on. “They’re hard to work in, they’re hard to breathe in, they make it hard to understand what people are saying in a conversational sense. “I believe that if we’re stopping check ins, easing masks should be the next thing.” Alan Sheppard was in favour of the current mask mandate and said he did not want to see it lifted until the number of hospitalisations was reduced. “I don’t think [it should be removed] until we can get the hospital numbers down a lot more,” he said. “I think for your personal protection it is a wise move.” On Friday, Premier Peter Gutwein said Tasmania had always taken a cautious approach when it came to COVID. “And we need to continue to protect members of the community that are more vulnerable,” he said. What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor:

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