Tasmanian Premier hints at NSW border opening

written by Adam Thorn | October 13, 2020
A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 Hobart
A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 arrives at Hobart Airport (Craig Murray)

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has again hinted he could open the state’s border to NSW on 26 October but will wait until a week before to make the final call.

Premier Gutwein said he was “certainly not ruling out easing the restrictions” and argued COVID-19 infections there were “very low” for such a big area.

Tasmania is set to open up to Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT later this month, with NSW only possibly joining them.

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The state 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 26 October deadline, the state was due to open to others only in early December.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation in New South Wales closely,” Premier Gutwein said on Tuesday.

He also indicated negotiations were progressing well for Tasmania to join NSW, the NT and ACT in opening a one-way travel bubble with New Zealand.

“We’re working very hard on being able to stand up an interim arrangement in terms of an international terminal at Hobart Airport, and those negotiations are well underway,” he said.

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“I understand that federal officials met with Tasmanian government officials this week to consider the plans in terms of establishing Border Force at the Hobart Airport imminently.”

Last week, 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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Tasmanian Premier hints at NSW border opening Comment

  • SJ

    says:

    What I find incredible is that NSW is open to New Zealanders, but states such as Tasmania, QLD and WA refuse to reopen to fellow Australians. What Aussies are yet to fully appreciate the social and mental strains being placed on families and friends separated by Premiers who are fearful of single digit cases in a country that has a health system widely regarded around the globe. If someone can explain the rationale to me, I’ll happily listen – but as an Aussie living overseas looking in, I don’t understand it. I just see political games that do not have the best interests of the citizens at hand.

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