Tasmania’s coronavirus restrictions have been relaxed to allow a newlywed couple to have a first dance at their wedding.
Premier Peter Gutwein announced on Friday a couple getting married, their parents or guardians, and members of the bridal party would be allowed to dance.
“A number of brides have contacted me, not many grooms have contacted me about this particular activity – I think that’s a good first step forward,” he said.
But he said dancing in nightclubs was still not allowed because this was a high-risk activity in the midst of a pandemic.
The relaxed rules which allow dancing at weddings came into effect at one minute past midnight on Friday.
Eight-ball, darts and karaoke were also allowed to resume.
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Public Health director Mark Veitch said dancing was not allowed for all people attending a wedding because having a large group of people mixing closely was high-risk.
Dr Veitch said nightclubs needed to adapt their business model rather than try to get around the restrictions.
“The things are the number of people, the closeness they mix together, the freedom perhaps alcohol-inspired they mix together, if they are known to each other or if they are traceable,” he said.
“A ballet class or old time dance class in a community hall is different than a rave in the bush.”
He said discussions between public health and the Education Department about school formals were ongoing.
All arrivals into Tasmania will undergo health screening from the end of this month.
“All arrivals to Tasmania, including all essential travellers, will have temperature and symptoms checks,” Mr Gutwein said.
Mr Gutwein said, as was already the case, essential travellers arriving from Victoria and specified hotspots in Queensland would be required to take a COVID-19 test.
He said essential travellers would be contacted two days after their arrival, and every two days after that, to check they will still healthy.
Mr Gutwein also announced based on advice from State Controller Darren Hine he would be extending Tasmania’s state of emergency until the end of October.
The state of emergency was due to expire on August 31.
Dr Veitch will also extend the state’s public health emergency for another 12 weeks.
“That is four weeks longer than the state of emergency,” Dr Veitch said.
Labor Leader Rebecca White welcomed the announcement screening processes would be ramped up from the end of the month but said the changes did not go far enough.
“It makes no sense that we are still not testing everyone who has been granted a quarantine exemption and requiring them to isolate until their test result returns,” Ms White said.