Tasmania to reopen borders in December

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says the state will reopen its borders on December 15.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says the state will reopen its borders on December 15.

Tasmania will reopen its borders on December 15 to people who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

Premier Peter Gutwein expects everyone in the state over the age of 12 will have had the opportunity to be vaccinated by that date.

"On the 15th of December we will reopen our border," he announced on Friday.

"We are not going to turn back from that date. If you're not vaccinated, get it done and get it done as soon as you can."

As part of the reopening plan, interstate arrivals will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel.

Returning Tasmanians will not need a test if they left the state for seven days or fewer.

Mr Gutwein also announced the state will alter border restrictions when 80 per cent of the population over 16 is fully vaccinated, a mark expected to be hit in early November.

When that happens, fully vaccinated travellers can enter Tasmania from high-risk areas if they undertake 14 days of quarantine at a hotel or at home, if they qualify.

More than 70 per cent of Tasmanians aged over 16 are fully vaccinated and more than 85 per cent have received one dose.

The state is currently closed to NSW, Victoria and the ACT, while high-risk premises are declared in Queensland and South Australia.

Mr Gutwein said a vaccination mandate will be introduced for disability workers, with more details to be released next week.

A mask mandate for the south, put in place during a snap three-day lockdown last weekend, has been lifted.

The state has had just three cases this year on the back of a hard border approach but has dodged several COVID-19 bullets.

An infected NSW man, who recently sparked the lockdown after escaping hotel quarantine and spending 18 hours in the community, did not spread the virus.

The state government is enforcing mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers on October 31 and says it will sack anyone who doesn't meet the deadline.

Australian Associated Press