Tasmania has released a ‘Safe Border Strategy’ ahead of the state’s reopening to low-risk jurisdictions.
Premier Peter Gutwein has revealed Tasmania remains on track to open to South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, and the ACT as of 26 October.
Ahead of this date, the state has revealed its three-step strategy to reopening, which includes first allowing seasonal and FIFO workers to enter from non-affected regions under certain circumstances, then easing border restrictions to low-risk jurisdictions by late October.
For the final step, Public Health will provide ongoing advice on border restrictions with other jurisdictions, with further advice on Victoria and other current hot spots, by 1 December.
Premier Gutwein advised Tasmania continues to monitor the situation in NSW closely and will provide an update on 19 October on his state’s border arrangements with the state.
“I want to assure Tasmanians that the processes we will put in place at our borders will be sensible and robust,” he said in a statement.
Anyone travelling to Tasmania from low-risk jurisdictions will be required to register their travel and contact details before entering the state through a new ‘Tas E-Travel’ registration system.
The state’s government will be communicating more about how travellers can register through this system via the coronavirus.tas.gov.au website in coming weeks.
Anyone who has spent time in high-risk areas will still have to apply to enter Tasmania through the ‘Good to Go’ system, with previous announcements from the government revealing fines of up to $16,800, or up to six months jail, could be handed to those who provide incorrect information.
There will be health screening for all arrivals to the state, including temperature checks and questions regarding whether they have any symptoms. Following health screening, those from low-risk areas who have symptoms will be requested to get a test and to isolate until the result is known.
When it comes to arrivals who visit Tasmania via the Spirit of Tasmania, travellers coming to Tassie from low-risk jurisdictions will need to transit directly through Victoria, only stopping for fuel.
Premier Gutwein said his government would constantly review the measures to ensure the state’s “capabilities are read as we move forward”, adding that while Tasmania’s border restrictions would be easing, now was not the time for complacency.
“As we move to implement Step 2 of our transition plan for our borders … it is more important now than ever to keep following the simple rules, so we can continue doing the things that we enjoy,” he said.
The news comes after Tasmania in August announced it would remain closed to mainland Australia until 1 December – a move that came before the new 26 October deadline – off the back of the release of a now successful travel voucher program.
That decision was made after the state quashed a plan to open “safe travel bubbles” with South Australia, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia from 7 August.
Featured image: Pool of Bethesda, Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania (source: iStock/Liam Preece)