Tasmania opens up ‘safe travel bubbles’ to three states

Tasmania will open its borders with three other Australian states that are considered “equally as safe”.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein announced that travel will be allowed between South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia from August 7.

“After review by public health officials and considering a range of border safety restrictions we intend to create safe travel bubbles between those three states,” he said.

Mandatory testing for essential workers travelling from Victoria and other “hot spots” would apply from July 31 at Tasmania’s airports and seaports, while anyone identified as being unwell or having symptoms will have to take a mandatory COVID test.

“After testing, those people must remain in hotel or home quarantine until they receive the results of those tests,” Gutwein said.

“Refusal to have those tests will result in mandatory hotel quarantine or they will be directed to return home on next flight.”

Everyone coming to Tasmania must register to travel using ‘Good to Go’ PASS.

This includes Tasmanian residents returning to the state and people wanting to travel under Essential Traveller status.

Gutwein said the government needed to “take a longer term view on relaxations” when it came to relaxing border restrictions with other states.

“I don’t see Victoria being opened up with Tasmania in the near future but we will continue to monitor on a weekly and monthly basis,” he said.

“With Queensland we need to take a position of caution.”

Gutwein said they were remaining cautious to ensure they didn’t “take a backwards step”.

“We’re one of the safest places in the world right now,” he said. “But the virus is here to stay until we have a vaccine.”