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

North West Restrictions Lifting (01 May 2020)

To: All Tasmanian State Servants

Dear Colleagues

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge, and thank you sincerely, for your effort, co-operation and resilience over the past weeks while we’ve responded to COVID-19. As you know, the challenges presented to us by the coronavirus pandemic have been enormous, and at their most significant in the North-West of our State.

As you are aware, State Service employees in the North-West1 were advised to stay home (unless because of the work you do, your Head of Agency required you to be in the workplace) as part of increased restrictions in the region responding to the COVID-19 cluster. These restrictions in the North-West are scheduled to conclude at 11.59 pm on Sunday, 3 May 2020 and the Premier has announced this morning, that the increased restrictions will be lifted as scheduled on Sunday night.

It is important to recognise that in lifting these restrictions we must still apply caution. It is still very important to only leave home if we absolutely need to:

  • get food or other essential supplies
  • for work, study or volunteering, if it can’t be undertaken at home
  • to exercise
  • for medical or health care appointments and treatment
  • to provide social support or care to another person, including compassionate needs and shared parenting, guardianship or care arrangements
  • for vet services
  • to perform maintenance or security inspections on another premises you own.

1 Local Government Areas of Latrobe, Kentish, Devonport, Central Coast, Burnie, Waratah-Wynyard, Circular Head and West Coast


The safety and wellbeing of all State Service employees is vitally important and underpins everything we do. Heads of Agency will continue to ensure they support you all to work in a safe environment, wherever you are.

In addition to our high standards of workplace safety, I encourage you all to continue to personally undertake these steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. Please remain vigilant in practising distancing and hygiene:

  • wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
  • practice physical distancing and remain more than 1.5 metres from others when you can
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly
  • stay home unless you are leaving for essential services.

Work Arrangements

If you are returning to your workplace in the North-West on Monday, including if you work in the North-West hospital system, you will be contacted by your home-Agency and supported through the specific return to work process suitable for where you work. Please look out for, and carefully follow, the advice you receive from your home-Agency. If you are currently working from home as part of your approved working arrangements, then you can continue to do so (in communication with your Manager).

School and Work

Schools will re-open in North-West Tasmania from Monday, 4 May 2020. This brings the North-West back into line with the advice for the rest of the State. Importantly, we ask that parents - right across the State - continue to keep their children at home and support their learning where possible. School sites remain safe, however staying at home is the best thing we can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We do this by helping to limit the movement of people.

School sites will be open for students who cannot be supervised or supported to learn from home, for example when parents or care-givers have to go to work. The situation is constantly being reviewed and we will act on Public Health advice.


I encourage you to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you are showing any symptoms of a fever, runny nose, cough, sore/itchy throat or shortness of breath, do not enter the workplace, stay home and arrange to be tested by calling the Public Health Hotline, or your GP. Increased testing is still very important in helping Public Health understand if the virus is present within the broader community. It will also allow a rapid response in terms of contact tracing and testing if another outbreak is detected.

Six respiratory clinics are operating in Tasmania to help meet the demand for testing. If there is no testing clinic in your local area, you can travel outside your municipality to have a test.

Where to find more information

For more information please visit the Tasmanian Government’s coronavirus website 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
01 May 2020