Tasmania will open to NSW travellers from next Friday

Tasmania will open to NSW travellers from next Friday

Travellers from New South Wales will be permitted to enter Tasmania from 6 November without needing to complete two weeks of quarantine.

The decision follows observation of the COVID-19 situation in NSW, with Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein confident to classify the state as a "low risk" area from next Friday.

Until then Tasmanian health authorities still consider NSW as a "medium risk area", meaning travellers must complete two weeks of quarantine on arrival.

"Public health has now given further consideration to the situation in New South Wales," said Premier Gutwein.

"We've looked at the opportunity for this to occur and I am pleased to announce today that it's our intention to classify New South Wales as a low risk area and relax the rules and restrictions with that state.

"What we want to see in a jurisdiction that we open up to is less than five cases of unknown transmission in the last 28 days."

Gutwein acknowledges NSW has recorded six cases of unknown transmission in the last 28 days, but he is confident the state will be able to bring the numbers down prior to the planned 6 November reopening date.

"We want to ensure that as we move closer to Friday the 6th there are no further major outbreaks occurring in that state," said Gutwein.

"But at this stage they look, on balance, very safe in terms of the population size and the relative risk to Tasmania."

Tasmania reopens to the rest of Australia, bar Victoria

Yesterday, Tasmania reopened its borders to every 'low-risk' area in Australia, including South Australia, Queensland, the ACT, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia.

Gutwein said the processes in place to ensure the safe arrival of these travellers "performed well", with nobody entering Tasmania referred to being tested for COVID-19.

More than 600 people arrived across seven flights into Tasmania yesterday, and more than 80 cars arrived on the Spirit of Tasmania this morning.

"The processes and systems held up well," said Gutwein.

"In fact they had performed exactly as we had hoped they would.

"And it was, I must admit, very heart-warming last night to see the pictures in the media of those families reunited."

In terms of TAS' border with Victoria, Gutwein said he is still targeting a reopening date of 1 December.

"It is so pleasing to see them driving the numbers so low," said Gutwein.

"However, obviously they have been dealing with the most significant second wave in the country and we will continue to keep that situation under advisement.

"We're still targeting December 1, but as I've always said, we'll be responding to the evolving situation there and that advice will be based on public health advice."

Updated at 3.29pm AEDT on 27 October 2020.

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