Tasmania is set to reopen its borders to some of the country as it was announced that a ‘travel bubble’ would be created with Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, which will allow residents in these areas to enter the southern state in the coming month.
Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein made the exciting announcement on Friday afternoon, revealing that the bubble will be opened up on August 7. Speaking in a press conference, the politician said it’s the first step back into the tourism industry for Tasmania, which has been closed to all other parts of the country for months now.
“Creating a travel bubble I think will be welcome by many people,” he said. “It’s the first step for the tourism and hospitality sector.”
However, there will be some rules in place for these travellers. Upon arrival into the state, people from these select states will be required to declare that they haven’t been outside of that “safe bubble” within the past 14 days. If incorrect information is provided, a fine of up to $1,800 or six months jail will be given.
Travellers from NT, WA and SA will also have to undergo a mandatory health check once they touch down in Tassie, and anyone with coronavirus symptoms will be required to take a Covid-19 test and remain in hotel or home quarantine until the rest results are received.
Meanwhile, the state will remain closed to the rest of the country for the foreseeable future. Gutwein said the situation will be monitored on a weekly and months basis, however, he can’t see Tasmania opening to Victoria any time soon.
“As I’ve said on a number of occasions, our thoughts are with Victorians at the moment,” he said. “They are in the fight of their lives and, at the end of the day, I hope, in the same way that Tasmanians took responsibility and followed the rules, that Victorians likewise follow the rules and do what’s necessary so that that state can get on top of its challenges.
He continued: “In terms of Queensland and New South Wales, obviously with the ACT involved as well, we’re going to take a position of caution. We’ll provide an update on August 7 on the possible time frames and dates.”
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