Jenny Gale, Head of the State Service, message to all staff

COVID-19 pandemic update (08 May 2020)

To: All Tasmanian State Servants

Dear Colleagues

COVID-19 pandemic update 8 May 2020

Today the Premier has announced Tasmania’s staged and measured approach to beginning to lift the restrictions we have in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. A copy of the Government’s plan can be found here and I encourage you to take the time to review this document.

The Government’s roadmap details a four-staged approach to easing restrictions, based on four safeguard areas:

  • increased testing;
  • better tracing capabilities and the COVIDSafe app;
  • rapid response capability; and
  • COVID-Safe business plans.

The Premier has been very clear that Tasmania’s approach to easing restrictions will be cautious. We have an older and more vulnerable population and the safety and well-being of all Tasmanians continues to be the priority. The Government will continue to be guided by Public Health advice and our lifting of restrictions will be carefully staged. The stages will see a minimum of four weeks between key changes to restrictions. This will give us time to monitor and review the effect those changes have on the behaviour of the virus as well as how well Tasmanians are complying with the changed requirements of each stage.

We will cautiously ease some restrictions from 11 May 2020. These initial measures include the limited re-opening of national parks and reserves; allowing additional visits to occur in Aged Care facilities; and an increase to a maximum of 20 people for funerals.

As the largest employer in the State, the Tasmanian State Service continues to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic whilst continuing our important work delivering a range of essential services and supporting communities. I want to acknowledge the efforts of all Agencies and thank you all for your ongoing commitment, as well as your flexibility and willingness to get on and do what needs to be done. I would also like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to a couple of matters of continued importance.


We’re currently experiencing an increased rate of cyber threats across the Tasmanian Government as cybercriminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation. In addition, these threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and harder to detect.

We all need to be vigilant as it requires a combined effort from us all to protect both our individual information security and the information security of the Tasmanian Government. The things you can do if you feel uncertain about an email you have received, include:

  • If you need to verify an email, pick up the phone. Don’t reply to a potentially suspicious email.
  • Check for changes in website addresses and emails. Differences can be subtle, like substituting a ‘1’ for an ‘I’.
  • If the email has a link in it then check it by hovering over it first to see what it is and where it is taking you to.
  • Never give others access to your email or share your passwords with someone else.

If you require any further information or assistance please contact your Agency’s IT Help Desk.

At this time when many of us are working from home it’s also vitally important not to let other people in your household use or have access to your work device(s).


The safety and wellbeing of all State Service employees continues to be of the upmost importance. I strongly encourage you to continue to personally undertake the steps required of you to slow the spread of COVID-19. In particular, please continue to comply with social distancing requirements and practice excellent personal hygiene. If you feel unwell, please stay home. Importantly, if you are experiencing any symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, cough/itchy throat or shortness of breath, do not enter the workplace and arrange to be tested by calling the Public Health Hotline or your GP.

As will be the case with all private and non-government sector workplaces, Agencies will need to have COVID-Safe plans in place by the middle of next month. This will be important to ensure safe workplaces as we progressively change our working from home advice, as outlined in the Government’s plan.

Where to find more information

For more information please visit the Tasmanian Government’s coronavirus website at or call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on: 1800 671 738.

Best wishes, and stay safe

Jenny Gale Signature block
Jenny Gale
Head of the State Service
Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet
08 May 2020