Tasmania on track to open to NSW on 2 November

written by Adam Thorn | October 19, 2020
Hobart Airport will start to see more freight flights depart under a government scheme. (Hobart)

Tasmania has revealed it will open its borders to NSW on 2 November, provided its COVID-19 case numbers remain low.

Premier Peter Gutwein also confirmed the state will drop restrictions to those travelling from South Australia, ACT and Queensland on 26 October.

Tasmania currently requires all residents crossing the border to home quarantine for 14 days, and non-residents to undertake the same in a government facility. Before the recently announced October deadline, the state was due to open to others only in early December.

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Speaking on Monday, Premier Gutwein emphasised the opening to NSW is still conditional and his team are “monitoring” numbers.

“If the situation changes in NSW, we won’t hesitate to keep our borders restricted with that state,” he said.

Tasmania’s director of public health Mark Veitch added the state would like to see NSW record “small, single-figure average every day”.

“[Currently] they’ve been linked to an elaborate network of clustered cases, particularly south-west Sydney,” said Veitch. “They’re not quite out of the woods yet, certainly a couple of weeks of diminishing number of cases.”

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Monday’s announcement has come after weeks of hints that restrictions could be relaxed.

Earlier this month, Australian Aviation reported that Link Airways would launch a new route between Canberra and Hobart on 3 December, but could potentially launch it earlier if border restrictions were relaxed in October.

The flights will depart Canberra at 9:30am and arrive into Hobart at 11:35am, while the return service will depart Hobart at 12:05pm and land in Canberra at 2:05pm.

The route, serviced by the airline’s Saab 340B Plus aircraft, will initially operate four times a week but there are plans to shift that up to 11 in 2021.

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