Details of Government House COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 RESPONSE

As a considered measure to help to minimise the spread within Tasmania of the COVID-19 virus, and following discussions with and advice from the Acting Director of Public Health, the Secretary, Department of Health and the Office of the Premier, the Office of the Governor of Tasmania has decided to cancel or postpone Her Excellency and Mr Warner’s non-essential official engagements at Government House and across the State, as well as other Government House public gatherings.

The following criteria have formed part of this decision:

> It is consistent with decisions to cancel or postpone non-essential public events across Australia and worldwide;

>At this time of uncertainty Her Excellency’s primary constitutional and legal responsibilities must take precedence over her community role, to ensure the full continuity of Executive Government in Tasmania;

>The Governor’s treatment in 2019 for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and her higher-risk age category together warrant that she effectively self-isolate to minimise personal risk of succumbing to the virus;

>The Governor and Mr Warner and Government House staff interact daily with very many individuals which may increase the risk of person to person community transmission as the COVID-19 situation progresses;

>There may be members of the community who, having accepted an invitation to Government House, or to an external event at which there is Vice-Regal attendance, feel obliged by protocol to attend while anxious at the prospect of sustained close social interactions at such an event;

>The Office of the Governor of Tasmania as an employer recognises the importance of protecting and supporting its staff.

Finally, the Governor is of the opinion that in her role as representing the Tasmanian community, this is the right thing to do at this time of considerable public uncertainty.

The Vice-Regal program has been reviewed through to Easter, after which a further set of assessments will be made.

Priority contact is being made with all organisations and groups affected by this decision.