Tasmania has just announced it will be shutting its borders to all non-essential travellers from midnight on Friday. Any non-essential travellers who enter the state after the deadline will go into 14 days’ quarantine.
The unprecedented news was announced this morning by Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein who defined “essential” travellers as those required to keep the state’s health system and trade operational.
Everyone else, even returning Tasmanians, will be required to go into quarantine. Those who fail to self-quarantine could receive fines up to $16,800.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said he made “no apologies” for introducing the “toughest border measures in the country” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We know that for some it will create disruption, but our aim is to ensure that we protect the health, wellbeing and safety of Tasmanians and we would ask people to work with us as we implement these measures and as they are managed over coming weeks.”
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein
“I want to be clear to all Tasmanians, we are not going to shut the borders to those supplies that we need.”
Meanwhile, a travel ban has already been put in place for Norfolk island with only residents and essential staff able to travel to Norfolk Island until further notice.
Anyone returning to the island will need to self-isolate for 14 days once on the island.
The population on Norfolk Island is, on average, older than the population on the mainland. This, together with the Island’s remote location and limited diagnostic and medical capability makes the Island more vulnerable to the virus.
The Island’s remote location means that some people would need to be aero medically evacuated to the mainland should the virus take effect.
Air New Zealand flights will continue but will reduce in frequency and only carry passengers who are residents or essential staff.
Medical evacuation flights are exempt from travel restrictions.
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