Date for Borders to reopen

26 Jun 2020

Peter Gutwein, Premier

The health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians remains our top priority.

We have not had a COVID-19 case in our state for 41 days, and it’s clear we have been successful in supressing the virus and flattening the curve. Tasmanians are to be congratulated for their continued efforts and willingness to work together.

To mitigate the risk of a second wave, it is important we have a safe and responsible pathway forward and confidence in other states which may present a risk to Tasmania.

Public Health advice is that we need to ensure there is adequate time between our easing of stage 3 restrictions today and when we open our borders. Therefore, we are setting the date to open our borders on 24 July.

This will ensure we have appropriate processes in place both for arrivals and departures, necessary plans in place for direct flights where required, and the confidence Tasmanians are able to transit through major gateways such as Tullamarine Airport.

However, if the public health advice at that time, or in the immediate lead up to 24 July is that it is not safe to open - we will not open.

Over the next four weeks we will put in place a plan to support a safe relaxation of our borders. It will include reviewing the circumstances of other states and territories on a weekly basis, and we will have a formal review of Victoria’s situation in two weeks.

We will also implement measures at our borders, including at both airports and seaports, to ensure we have detailed understanding of who is entering our state should we reopen our borders on 24 July and how to contact them for regular updates in terms of their health.

This will be supported by an app that we are currently modifying with other states. It will be available via mobile or computer and will be complemented by a manual record system to cater for all people.

We will continue our engagement with airlines in regards to direct flights, wherever possible, to states and territories that are currently COVID-free, and we will work with the Victorian Government to understand the measures that are currently  in place to ensure a safe transition through Tullamarine, should that be necessary depending on Victoria’s situation.

Further, we will continue to build capacity in our tracking and tracing rapid response teams so that if the virus emerges, we are well placed to act swiftly and keep Tasmanians safe.

This pathway to relaxing our borders provides a date to assist Tasmanians to plan ahead, a date to ensure every one of our safeguards are working effectively, and to ensure we have the utmost confidence that what is happening over in other jurisdictions does not present a risk to our state that would see us have to impose excessive restrictions once again.

Whilst I am setting a date for 24 July, the health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians remains this Government’s top priority and we will not jeopardise this and open our borders should the public health advice change.