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Coronavirus 628x90

Premier ponders October border reopening

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Tasmania could reopen to safe jurisdictions - including South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory - by the end of October, pending advice from Public Health officials.

"At this stage, we're not declaring that we will open early. What we are saying is that on balance if you look at the virus in other states and territories and importantly, where we're at with our preparedness, I think there's a good chance we'll be able to open by the end of that month [October]. But again, we will wait until we get that advice," Premier Peter Gutwein said during Friday's coronavirus briefing.  

Last month, the Premier revealed the borders would stay shut until December 1st unless the coronavirus situation improved on the mainland, but now says progess has been better than expected.

It's also been announced fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers from non-COVID hotspots won't have to quarantine for 14 days. 

"From midnight this Sunday the 20th, Tasmanian fly-in fly-out workers who are away for extended periods of time working in low-risk jurisdictions have the opportunity to come home without quarantine as long as they return directly from their safe-state without spending time in a hotspot area," he said.  

During today's National Cabinet meeting, Tasmania agreed to do more to assist getting stranded Australians home from overseas, offering up Hobart Airport for chartered or emergency commercial flights and putting travellers into hotel quarantine here. 

Premier Gutwein noted without an international airport, this would only be in expectional circumstances, but offered to make a financial contribution to hotel quarantine on the mainland, given Tasmanians would make up a percentage of those arrivals.

From September 25, 1000 people will be allowed into stadiums in Tasmania, as long as COVID-safe plans are in place.

"The 250 indoor limit is going to continue. We know that the highest risk is indoors but we're able to be a bit more liberal about the number of people who can gather outdoors," Director of Public Health Mark Veitch said. 

It follows a successful trial run of increased crowd capacity at a North Hobart Oval TSL match.

Tags: coronavirus