Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

PRESS CONFERENCE - 1 OCTOBER 2021

Premier Peter Gutwein

Look, first of all, I want to provide a border situation Update, given the escalating cases in Victoria that we've seen.

Over the past 48 hours, there’ve been more than 2,500 cases in Victoria, which is an alarming spike and, obviously, you know, they've been discussing what some of the reasons might be, post the AFL Grand Final weekend, however, it is very concerning.

Public Health have been monitoring the situation closely, and in response to that increasing risk today have confirmed that from midnight tonight, or 12:01am tomorrow morning, but midnight tonight, Tasmania will be introducing increased travel restrictions with Victoria.

The Local Government Area of Hume will now be considered High-Risk Level 1, no travel.

So, for those people that are in Hume, that LGA, there is no travel to Tasmania.

Importantly, as well, there are a further additional 18 Local Government Areas that have been identified as High-Risk Level 1 areas as well, and if you’ve been in one of those LGAs, you’ll not be able to enter Tasmania unless approved as an essential traveller.

If approved, you'll be required to quarantine at an approved premise upon arrival and abide by increased quarantine requirements in line with those that we have in place now for areas of New South Wales which is at Level 1, where we're undertaking the quarantine and home trial.

So, for those undertaking home quarantine, they'll need to be double vaccinated and have evidence of negative COVID test no more than 72 hours prior to travel.

Whereas at the moment, Victoria is High-Risk, but Level 2, and you can home quarantine, but we've introduced these higher restrictions for those 18 LGAs and, importantly, for Hume there is no travel to Tasmania, if you've been in that LGA in the last fortnight.

Importantly, the LGAs listed will be on the Coronavirus website, and I’d encourage people to look at those.

The rest of Victoria will remain at High-Risk Level 2, so that means that for all other areas of Victoria at high risk you're not permitted to enter Tasmania, if you've been in any of those areas that have now been listed in the 14 days prior to your travel, unless approved as an essential traveller.

If you have travel plans from Victoria after midnight tonight, any previously approved Good2Go pass approvals will be cancelled and you will need to apply to identify if you've been in any of those High-Risk Level 1 areas.

I also encourage Tasmanians who may be holidaying in Queensland to keep on top of the updating hotspots on the Coronavirus website with two more cases today.

Please be aware of the changing situation, there are a number of identified hotspot premises and locations and, importantly, continue to look at the website, and if you're travelling and are Tasmanian, you know, it's important that if you're in Queensland at the moment looking to come back, make sure you avail yourself of that information, in terms of what it may mean for you.

Now, importantly, in Tasmania, once again, we remain very fortunate, we’re COVID-free at this time and, you know, we get the opportunity to watch what's occurring across the rest of the country, which unfortunately is very challenging for many people, especially those in Victoria in terms of the circumstances they're now finding themselves in, as cases rise.

Now, our plan is to be living more openly again by Christmas, as I've said.

Now, I believe that we can do this, if we pull together.

It's why we've launched our Spring into Summer campaign.

And Tasmanians have stepped forward, we've seen that again this week, giving us real confidence we'll be able to achieve what we set out to do.

As of yesterday, 76.2% of all Tasmanians aged 16 and over have had a first dose of the vaccine and 58.4% are fully vaccinated.

This weekend will pass 600,000 total vaccination doses given across Tasmania, and the message is very simple now, anyone aged 12 and over can get vaccinated at their GP, at a pharmacy or at a state-run community clinic, and I would encourage people to do that.

You know, over the next six weeks, there are plenty of appointments available throughout the state of these different vaccination providers, and so I would encourage people to book in and get an appointment.

This includes special pop-up clinics being brought to regions or suburbs where vaccination rates are currently a little bit lower than what we'd like them to be, and Kath will say more about these matters in a few moments.

Now, vaccination continues to be the best way to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19, so if you haven't been vaccinated already, don't wait, vaccinate.

It's going to help protect your family, yourself and your community, as we move forward.

Now, in terms of modelling, the Kirby and Garvan Institute are working on Tasmanian-specific modelling, our planning remains on track to open our borders before Christmas.

However, we need to be certain that all eligible Tasmanians have had the opportunity to be vaccinated before we open, and our aim is to reach 90% of over 16s.

As I've said, our target, 90% by the 1st of December, and with 12 to 15-year olds having had at least their first dose by then and, hopefully, shortly thereafter have been fully vaccinated as well.

Now, we'll be releasing the modelling, along with our border opening plan and, again, I want to just be quite clear about this, and I made the point on Wednesday, Victoria and New South Wales are currently locked down.

They have reopening plans for their community, our community’s where they are trying to get to in terms of the level of restrictions, and New South Wales, even at 90% as they forecast by the 1st December, doesn't quite get to the level of openness that we have here, albeit we have some restrictions.

Our plan will be about a border reopening plan, and what method, measures we will take in terms of opening our borders to those two larger states.

Now, this modelling will be released, along with that border opening plan, in mid-October, as I've said.