Victoria's ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 is still of serious concern for the state's southern neighbour, forcing Tasmania to keep current restrictions and border measures in place until 1 December.
As such, the island state will keep its hard border up with the rest of the country, and current gathering restrictions on businesses, households, venues and workplaces will not change.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein (pictured) says the extension of restrictions will allow sufficient time for the outbreak in Victoria and the threat posed to other states to be clearly controlled.
"This will enable our community and our businesses to understand and prepare for border relaxations, and to ensure appropriate planning and risk mitigation processes are in place," Gutwein said.
"At the moment the risk posed to Tasmania by the situation in Victoria is considerable. There are many Tasmanian businesses, which have had to close their doors, who are only just returning to reasonable levels of trade, and many others who are still doing it very tough.
"But we must avoid a situation like Victoria or NSW, as we would have to impose serious restrictions once again. We would see shrinking business confidence and the jobs regained, lost once more."
Current restrictions imposed on Tasmanians businesses include:
- A maximum of 250 people for an undivided space in an indoor businesses;
- A maximum of 500 people in an undivided space outdoors; and
- The maximum density limit is one person per 2 square metres.
Household gatherings can have up to 20 people at any one time, not including the residents of the household and Tasmanians are also still encouraged to work from home if possible.
$7.5 million in travel grants for Tasmanians
With the border closures extended yet again Premier Gutwein has announced his government will be subsidising costs for intra-state travel.
From 1 September the 'Make Yourself at Home travel voucher' will be made available as part of a $7.5 million program.
$2.5 million each month will be made available to support Tasmanians who travel outside of their municipality, to stay midweek in accommodation, to enjoy a tourism experience, or visit an attraction on any day of the week.
The support will provide up to $100 toward the cost of a room in commercial accommodation or up to $50 per booking to participate in a tourism experience.
"Tasmanians we know, have been very supportive of local businesses, with hotel and accommodation occupancy rates being relatively strong during the recent school holidays and on the weekends especially," Gutwein said.
"However, midweek overnight occupancy remains weak, and many of our tourism experiences and attractions have significant capacity to share their product with Tasmanians.
"We want Tasmanians to experience this wonderful state and support these businesses."
Updated at 3:00pm AEST on 18 August 2020.
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