Media release – Peter Gutwein, Premier, 8 July 2020

Additional border restrictions

Our number one priority as we navigate our way through coronavirus has been the health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians.

Right now across the Bass Strait our fellow Australians, and for many of us, our family and friends, are facing challenges. My thoughts and best wishes for their health and safety are with them.

On Friday this week I will be providing an update on our borders and interstate travel, however, I can confirm today, due to the escalating situation in Victoria, we will not be opening our borders to Victoria on 24 July.

We will also put in place additional restrictions on Victorian travellers, and Tasmanians returning from Victoria. It gives me no pleasure to do this, but the only way to manage the virus is to respond swiftly and appropriately.

From midnight tonight the following takes effect:

  • Victorians and anyone that is not a Tasmanian resident who has spent time in Victoria in the 14 days prior to travel is not permitted to travel to Tasmania and will be turned back at their own expense in the event that they arrive in Tasmania. This applies unless they have pre-approval for travel as an essential traveller or for compassionate reasons.
  • This includes anyone transiting through Tullamarine Airport to Tasmania that leaves the airport, as they will be treated as having spent time in Victoria and will be turned back in the event that they arrive here.
  • Tasmanian residents who have spent time in Victoria in the 14 days prior to travel are able to return home to Tasmania but will be required to quarantine in a Government hotel for 14 days. This also includes fly in, fly out workers who have spent time in Victoria.
  • Tasmanians traveling from other jurisdictions who have transited through Tullamarine Airport and have not left that facility will be quarantined at home for 14 days and this will continue up until 24 July, subject to our border rules being reviewed.
    Any other travellers, including Tasmanians who leave Tullamarine Airport while in transit, will be quarantined in Government hotels for 14 days.
  • TT Line passengers will be managed under the same rules.
  • Biosecurity officers will be present at Tasmania’s airports and seaports and a biosecurity officer will also be present at Tullamarine airport to provide advice and guidance.
  • Businesses and organisations seeking essential workers from Victoria will need to demonstrate that the expertise cannot be recruited from any other state in the country first before an exemption is considered.
  • While Victorians can apply for a compassionate exemption to travel to Tasmania, these exemptions are unlikely to be granted in the short term due to the rapidly changing circumstances in Victoria.

We know that this pandemic is far from over, and we will continue to make decisions based on public health advice to keep people safe from a second wave, to protect our community, to protect our businesses and to protect our way of life.

I urge all Tasmanians to please keep following the rules. Observe the restrictions in place, maintain excellent hygiene practices, get tested even if you have mild symptoms and continue to keep each other safe.

Media release – Rebecca White MP, Labor Leader, 8 July 2020

Border protections welcome

Tighter border restrictions to protect Tasmanians from COVID imported from Victoria are welcome.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said the situation in Victoria remains concerning and it’s the right move to take tougher steps.

“Tasmanians have anxiously watched the situation unfolding in Victoria. With our own outbreak in the North West still fresh in people’s minds, we know we can’t afford to import COVID when we have been free of the disease for nearly two months.

“There will still be movement across state borders, so it’s vital that the tougher measures are backed up with appropriate safeguards on the ground as people arrive in our state.

“Peter Gutwein has finally indicated that quarantine exemptions already granted for essential workers will be reviewed. However, the scope of that review remains unclear and we call on the Premier to provide more detail.

“Currently, people who have been granted essential worker status can enter the state and move around the community without having to be tested for COVID-19.

“All of these people are coming here from Victoria, either through Melbourne Airport or on the Spirits of Tasmania.

“This is a serious oversight that risks undoing all of the good work of the Tasmanian community to eradicate the virus from our state.

“Asking people to wear a mask and relying on their goodwill to do so is not an effective form of protection.

“The government must immediately require all essential workers coming into the state to demonstrate they are COVID-19 free before they are granted an exemption from quarantine.”