TAS_MER_NEWS_PREMIERUPDATE14AUG20
TAS_MER_NEWS_PREMIERUPDATE14AUG20

‘ALMOST NORMAL’: NSW joins list of TAS travel destinations

TASMANIA is "almost back to normal" according to Premier Peter Gutwein "but it's a new COVID normal" he says.

This comes as the first international tourists are let into the state and Mr Gutwein and Public Health consider reopening the state to New South Wales on November 2, and Victoria later next month.

Mr Gutwein also outlined the new Tas e-Travel system, which will help Public Health understand where travellers are coming from and will be available from Friday this week on the government's coronavirus website.

"In terms of travellers from New South Wales, we've been monitoring the situation in that state as I've indicated and it's pleasing that state whilst continuing to have new cases they are only a limited handful of cases," he said.

"We intend to continue to monitor the situation in New South Wales for the remainder of this week with the hope we may be able to ease our restrictions in the first week of November."

Mr Gutwein also while there are no changes to border restrictions with Victoria yet, if cases continue to drop, Public Health may consider easing restrictions earlier than December 1.

"I'd have the very clear expectation that within a fortnight we will be able to provide a clear plan … subject to that circumstance continuing to improve," he said.

The state will re-open to other safe jurisdictions - Queensland, NT, WA, SA and ACT - next Monday, October 26.

REWATCH THE UPDATE >>

 

Tasmanian Government coronavirus update. 19/10/20. Audio will commence just before press conference.

Posted by The Mercury Newspaper on Sunday, 18 October 2020

 

Six New Zealanders have also arrived in Tasmania as part of the country's travel bubble with NSW. The Kiwis travelled to Tasmania in line with national quarantine rules.

"I'm advised as of yesterday we've had five travellers from New Zealand that have arrived in Tasmania and a further New Zealander that has travelled here today," Mr Gutwein said.

All six Kiwis are in hotel quarantine at their own expense but travellers coming from across the ditch may be able to skip hotel quarantine by the end of the week.

Travellers who are currently in quarantine will be able to exit if the Public Health advice is changed, Mr Gutwein said, with more information to be announced on Friday.

"Our life is almost back to normal, it is a COVID normal, it's important we all continue to accept this disease is deadly, that we all do what we can to ensure we don't inflict it upon our family, our community, the state," Mr Gutwein said.

Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch encouraged more Tasmanians to get tested, saying the state's rate is lower than he would like, around 450-500 people per day.

Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch. Picture: Zak Simmonds

He said to ensure safety among the community the testing rate needs to increase by around 600 people each day.

Tasmania's restrictions will tighten back up should the state encounter any untraceable cases.

"If we start to see unlinked cases ... and we don't suspect there is a wider community risk we can probably get there with tracking and tracing," Dr Veitch said.

"But if we start to see increasing of case, if we see numbers of cases that aren't linked to each other so we don't know where they come from it will probably be necessary to reimpose various forms of restrictions.

"Once you start to get numbers of cases spreading in the community you can't get on top of it by tracking and tracing alone."

Originally published as 'ALMOST NORMAL': NSW joins list of Tassie travel destinations

Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch looks on as Premier Peter Gutwein addresses the media during the Tasmanian Government COVID-19 update. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch looks on as Premier Peter Gutwein addresses the media during the Tasmanian Government COVID-19 update. Picture: Zak Simmonds

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