Tasmania to close borders to non-essential travellers

Tasmania to close borders to non-essential travellers

From midnight on Friday 20 March travellers entering Tasmania for non-essential purposes will be required to go into a 14-day quarantine period.

Premier Peter Gutwein says only "essential" travellers will be allowed to enter the state without going into quarantine.

"Essential travellers will be those that are important to our health effort, or to an emergency situation, or those that keep our trade links running," says Premier Gutwein.

It comes as the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison made it clear that the effects of coronavirus on the country's economy could last for longer than expected.

"The reason I'm making that point very clear is there seems to be a view, and the Chief Medical Officer was pointing this out as well, that somehow you can just turn the tap off for two weeks and all of a sudden we've got through the coronavirus. That's just not true," said PM Morrison last night, speaking to Paul Murray on Sky News.

"So, six months is indicative. I certainly don't, at this point, think it would be any less than that.

"But we need to understand that the things we do, social distancing measures, all these things, we need to be able to keep doing, not just for a week or two, but for the next six months."

Morrison says the second economic support package, to be announced soon, will focus on building a safety net for small businesses and those who have lost work because of Covid-19.

"The next package of measures that the Treasurer and I are working on with the Cabinet is to really cushion the blow for those small businesses more broadly, how they're going to be impacted in terms of their cash flow again but also, sadly, those who might find themselves with not as much work as they had before," says Morrison.

"Sole businesses who won't be able to make their sole business operate to the same level or at all and to ensure that we cushion the blow for them by making the safety net a lot stronger and a lot wider to catch more, because we're going to have to do that to support people through the many months ahead."

"And what I'm saying to them is it has a finite life, this virus, it will run for a period. I'm saying at the moment we are estimating no less than about six months. It could be longer. It could take us into the end of the year. But we'll have to just wait and see."

At the time of writing there are 568 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Australia and six deaths. Globally there are 214,894 confirmed cases and 8,732 deaths. 83,313 people have so far recovered from the coronavirus.

Updated at 9:34am AEDT on 19 March 2020.

 

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