Tasmania Has Opened Its Borders to Most of Australia and NZ
NSW residents are set to be allowed in from next week, too, but Victorians will need to wait a little longer.
Since Australia started easing out of COVID-19 lockdown, the country's internal border restrictions have earned plenty of attention. With tactics to stop the spread of the coronavirus implemented at a state-by-state level, each Aussie state has navigated the situation in its own way when it comes to letting non-residents visit.
In Tasmania, that has meant some strict quarantine requirements — which, for non-Tassie residents who weren't classified as essential travellers, entailed spending 14 days in government-designated accommodation. But, for most of the country, quarantine is no more. From Monday, October 26, travellers from Queensland, the ACT, SA, WA, the NT and New Zealand, which are deemed low-risk areas, are allowed to hop on a plane and head across the Strait. After you've filled out a Tas e-Travel form, of course.
Some good new for Sydneysiders: this will be an option for you, too, come Friday, November 6. On this date, Tasmania is set open its borders and airports to NSW travellers, pending further public health advice. In other words, if there's an outbreak before then, it might reverse the decision — but if NSW continues its stretch of relatively low levels of community transmission (there have been just three new cases in the past four days) we'll be good to go.
"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," Premier Peter Gutwein said in a press conference. "New South Wales over the last 28 days has had six only in a population of nearly eight million people, so they are on top of this."
If you're in Melbourne, sadly the changes won't apply to you just yet. Premier Gutwein noted that the state still hopes to open up to Victorians from December 1, but that they're pleased to "see them driving their numbers so low" and will "be responsive to the evolving situation there".
Kiwis legally must complete at least 14 days of managed isolation or quarantine when returning to New Zealand. Travellers will also be tested for COVID-19 during the two-week stay. The New Zealand Government has raised its travel advice to "do not travel" — the highest level — regardless of destination.
Keen to start planning an adventure south? Mona Foma has announced it'll return to Launceston and Hobart in January — and we've pulled together this list of exciting food and drink spots in the state's northeast.
Visitors from low-risk areas (currently Queensland, the ACT, SA, WA, the NT and NZ) are allowed to visit Tasmania without quarantining. You must fill out a Tas e-Travel form a maximum of three days before you arrive. The state is set to open to NSW from Friday, November 6.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Tasmania and the state's corresponding restrictions, visit its online COVID-19 hub.
Top image: Bay of Fires via Lia Kuilenburg for Tourism Tasmania.
Published on October 27, 2020 by Samantha Teague