The health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians remains our top priority and we have taken a precautionary and sensible pathway forward at every step.
We have followed our three stage plan for easing our restrictions and whilst our economy has been significantly impacted, we are in a good position.
Following a review and based on public health advice, from 7 August we intend to create safe-travel-bubbles with South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
The two week timeframe will allow for additional border safety measures to be put in place at our sea and airports, which will include a mandatory health check for every passenger, including temperature checking of all passenger arrivals.
The Good to Go App will also need to be filled out accurately in terms of where the passenger may have been in the past 14 days and there will be fines of up to $16,800 or up to 6 months jail for those who provide incorrect information.
Anyone that is identified as being unwell or having symptoms will be required to take a mandatory test, which will be conducted at the Airport. Refusal to have a test will result in mandatory hotel quarantine, or a directive to return home on the next flight.
TT Line will continue to operate under their current arrangements and passengers will not be carried if they don’t have a Tasmanian address or are an essential traveller or are visitors travelling from WA, SA or the Northern Territory.
In addition, from next Friday 31 July, we will introduce mandatory testing for essential workers at our air and sea ports that have been through a designated hot spot in NSW or are from anywhere in Victoria.
We will provide an update on 7 August on possible timeframes and dates to relax restrictions with Queensland, NSW and the ACT, based on public health advice and the situation in those states and territories. However to be clear we will not open to them before the 14th of August.
In terms of relaxing border restrictions with other states, due to the situation in Victoria we will need to take a longer term view on any relaxations and we will continue to monitor the situation on a weekly basis.
Additionally, from next Friday 31 July, quarantine at a hotel will be at your own expense, except in cases of extreme hardship.
This means anyone coming into Tasmania from 31 July will no longer have the state pay their hotel expenses, but will be charged $2800 per person for the 14 days, or if they’re a family, a family rate which is being determined.
This will apply to any travellers coming in from interstate via air, or for those on the Spirit of Tasmania where the vessel departed Melbourne after 12.01am on 31 July.
Exemptions can be requested by Tasmanians who may have to travel interstate to receive, for example, medical care or for compassionate reasons and these will be dealt with by the State Controller on a case by case basis.
Creating safe travel bubbles with states who are in as good a place as Tasmania will no doubt be welcome news as a safe first step for our tourism and hospitality sector. However, I will not put Tasmanians at risk, and we will continue to make decisions that are safe, sensible, and based on advice from Public Health experts at all times.
It doesn’t matter if it is a suburb, a city, or a state if we deem the risk to Tasmanians is too great we will not hesitate to act fast and put in place the necessary restrictions.
These are challenging times, but we must continue to move forward safely and responsibly. I urge all Tasmanians to maintain safe distances, wash your hands regularly, stay home if you’re unwell and get tested, even if you have mild symptoms.