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State’s reopening plan introduced, allowing travel in time for Christmas

Tasmania will reopen its borders 10 days before Christmas, Premier Peter Gutwein has declared.

He announced the reopening plan on Friday, revealing travellers from across the nation who were fully vaccinated and returned a negative test within 72 hours of arrival would be permitted to enter by December 15.

Additional quarantine and testing requirements will be implemented for those who don’t meet the required cross-border criteria.

The same rules will apply to those travelling into the state from overseas.

Camera IconTasmania’s borders will open to all other Australian jurisdictions on December 15. Nikki Davis-Jones Credit: News Corp Australia

The premier said he was “confident” Tasmanians aged above 12 would have had the chance to be fully vaccinated and believed 90 per cent of the state’s eligible population would be double jabbed by that time.

Residents were urged not to wait until December 14 to get vaccinated and to book them as soon as possible.

“If you want to go shopping in Melbourne or watch a horse race in Sydney, you will be able to return (without needing to undergo a test within the 72 hours) … if the travel is less than seven days,” Mr Gutwein said.

“It will be about using common sense and if you travel back into the state after a couple of days away and you develop symptoms, isolate and get a test. This has to become second nature to people going forward.”

Covid Presser
Camera IconPremier Peter Gutwein made the announcement on Friday. Chris Kidd. Credit: News Corp Australia

The “Tasmania specific” modelling will run over 200 days from December 1 and assumes 90 per cent of 12-15-year-olds will be vaccinated by mid-January.

Mr Gutwein said the state would not open up with no public health measures in place — dubbed the “let-it-rip” model — because the modelling showed more than 77,000 cases would be detected, leaving more than 600 people in ICU and killing 87 people over the 200 days.

“The model shows by maintaining the public health measure we have in place and high-level contract tracing, case numbers could reduce by more than 25,000 cases (from 77,000) … (and) looking at a possible daily peak of 242 cases in hospital and less than 70 in the ICU.

“Whilst still high, it significantly reduces deaths at 87 than without public health measures in place.”

Across all modelling, masks were worn in all indoor settings for people aged 12 years and older.

“We are different to NSW and Victoria. They have run models, they have lived experience, but they have also been locked down with limited movement in their community,” Mr Gutwein said.

“We would expect to have a different result and those who are unvaccinated have a high risk of being infected which includes our children.”

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