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Tasmania prepares for potential COVID-19 outbreak

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The State Government are putting measures in place to prepare for COVID-19 hitting our shores.

Plans for Tasmania specific COVID-modelling and reopening borders are expected to be released next week; the Garvan Medical Research Institute commissioned to produce the data.

In the meantime, a statewide COVID-19 ICU Surge Capacity Plan has been developed; with a surge in ICU capacity up to 114 beds.

267 ventilators are currently on hand, with a further 100 emergency ventilators due to arrive soon.

More than 300 qualified nurses are currently able to provide care to ventilating patients across the state.

Labor has raised questions over the preparedness of Tasmania's health system for a COVID-19 outbreak in State Parliament this morning.

Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff has slammed the notion.

"It is disappointing Rebecca White would seek to scare Tasmanians and attempt to use the pandemic for political gain." Rockliff said.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said the questions in Parliament today reflect the concerns of the Tasmanian community.

"Questioning the government about how 24-hour care will be provided to patients when hospital and ICU beds are already full is not playing politics." White insisted.

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It's expected COVID-19 will come back to the Apple Isle in larger numbers once we open the borders to high risk states.

The doors are currently open to Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

As a part of the Spring Into Summer campaign, borders aren't expected to reopen fully until 90 per cent of eligible Tasmanians over the age of 16 vaccinated.

That target is expected to be reached by the 1st of December.

Currently, over 80 per cent of the eligible group has received their first COVID-19 vaccine, 65 per cent fully vaccinated.

Pop up vaccination clinics are in the works for Bridgewater, Berridale, Huonville, Oatlands, Ouse, New Norfolk, Scottsdale, Smithton, Wynyard and Risdon Vale to boost vaccination rates in surrounding towns.

Vaccination teams will also soon be going into a number of regional Tasmanian high schools to deliver Pfizer vaccines to students aged 12 years and over, as well as staff and parents.

With important events like the Taste of Summer festival on the horizon, Premier Peter Gutwein is confident the borders will be open by late December.

"What we know is that when we do open our borders to those larger states, the virus will eventually end up in Tasmania" said Gutwein.

The Premier remains tight-lipped on official reopening plans for now.

"My expectation is that those who want to travel to Tasmania will need to be fully vaccinated and provide a negative test in the 72 hours before they arrive, with consideration being given to whether there is any testing regime upon arrival." Gutwein says.