Queensland among ‘low risk’ states soon to get access to Tasmania

Tasmania will decide whether to open its border to travellers from New South Wales next Monday, Tasmanian Premier Peter Guitwein says.

Oct 13, 2020, updated Oct 13, 2020
(ABC News: David Hudspeth)

(ABC News: David Hudspeth)

The island state, which was the first Australian state to close the border in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to open up to travellers from the “low-risk jurisdictions” of SA, WA, Queensland, the NT and the ACT from October 26, but no decision has been made on NSW.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation in New South Wales closely,” Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said on Tuesday.

He said numbers of COVID-19 infections in NSW were “very low” for such a large state, but that public health advice was to wait another week to make a final decision.

“I am certainly not ruling out easing the restrictions with NSW at this stage,” Mr Gutwein said.

At this stage, Tasmania’s border is set to stay closed to travellers from Victoria until December 1.

From October 26, mandatory quarantine will still be in place for people entering the state from high-risk areas. Gutwein said travellers from low-risk jurisdictions would still undergo health screening upon arrival in Tasmania, including temperature checks and questions regarding symptoms.

Those who indicated they had symptoms would be asked to get a coronavirus test and to isolate until they had their results.

Anyone travelling to Tasmania from low-risk jurisdictions via the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, which departs from Melbourne, would need to transit through Victoria only stopping for fuel,  Gutwein said.

Addressing the availability of flights in and out of the state,  Gutwein said he expected airlines would be moving “swiftly” now there was “clarity” over the state’s border reopening.

“As I understand it we currently have a number of direct flights into the states in terms of Adelaide and Brisbane,” he said.

He said the island state’s bid to join a travel bubble with New Zealand was also progressing.

“Negotiations are progressing with the relevant airline and also in terms of the Federal Government,” Gutwein said.

“We’re working very hard on being able to stand up an interim arrangement in terms of an international terminal at Hobart Airport, and those negotiations are well underway.

“I understand that federal officials met with Tasmanian Government officials this week to consider the plans in terms of establishing Border Force at the Hobart Airport imminently.”


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