Premier backs border reopening dates
The Liberal Government has maintained their commitment to December 15 as the day the borders reopen to high risk states.
The Greens have raised concerns in State Parliament, of the impact COVID-19 will have on our already struggling healthcare system.
Kirby Institute modelling has indicated allowing New South Wales and Victorian travellers back into our state will result in hundreds of COVID patients.
The fears are coupled with the looming COVID-19 vaccination deadline for healthcare workers.
Public Health say for staff, contractors and volunteers who fail to provide evidence of sufficient vaccination or exemption by 30 October; on 31 October they will no longer be paid and the Department will begin processes to terminate their employment, volunteer engagement or placement.
There are now concerns that allowing travellers from high risk states to enter our communities will put further strain on an already swamped health system.
Premier Peter Gutwein has maintained we must learn to live with the virus once vaccination targets have been reached.
"We know that locking in a date to reopen provides certainty to businesses, families and the community and I want to reassure Tasmanians that we are prepared."
The borders will remain closed until 90 per cent of the eligible population aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated, with safeguards lined up under the Reconnecting Tasmania Plan.
These include boosting hospital preparedness with new beds and COVID surge capacity; basic hygiene (such as covering coughs/sneezes), social distancing, stay home if unwell and cleaning.
The Check in Tas App will be used in all designated settings, with gathering restrictions and density limits also on the cards.
Testing and contact tracing; and isolation of cases and quarantine of contacts are both safeguards that will continue to be used with open borders.
"Based on Tasmania-specific modelling produced by the Kirby Institute, we are confident that we can open our borders and manage COVID safely, and within our health system" Gutwein says.
Currently, 87.5 per cent of eligible Tasmanians aged 16 and over have rolled up their sleeves for their first COVID jab.
72.6 per cent of the group are now fully vaccinated.
Travellers are itching to come back to Tasmania, the flood gates for tourism bookings opening off the back of the border announcement.
The State Government pinpointed December 15 as the day the doors will open to high risk states once again.
On Friday, more than 2,300 bookings were made for the Spirit of Tasmania; representing around $1 million.
The momentum didn't slow down over the weekend, with an average of around $800,000 in bookings taken each day.
Tourism Minister Sarah Courtney says it's a vote of confidence for our tourism and hospitality industries.
"The plan provides certainty in respect of the date our borders will re-open, and also what that will mean for the way operators are able to conduct their businesses."