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Tasmania hits 80 per cent vaccination mark

Tasmania has become the fourth Australian jurisdiction to pass the 80 per cent fully vaccinated milestone, a week slower than what the state government had hoped.

Premier Peter Gutwein announced on Wednesday the state had reached the mark for its over-16 population.

He earlier declared he wanted Tasmania to reach 80 per cent coverage by Melbourne Cup day on November 2, as part of the island’s path to reopening.

Tasmania will throw open its borders to all fully vaccinated travellers on December 15 but require people to return a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of travel. Those coming from low-risk areas will be exempt.

Mr Gutwein said earlier this month the state remains on track to reach 90 per cent fully vaccinated by December 15.

Tasmania is closed to Victoria and New South Wales, its two biggest domestic tourism markets, plus the ACT and hot spots in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The state government on Wednesday provided an extra $38 million to support micro and small businesses hit by extended border closures.

Southern Tasmania was plunged into a three-day lockdown in mid-October after a COVID-19-infected NSW man spent time in the community, but the island has largely avoided widespread restrictions imposed in other states.

The ACT has more than 95 per cent of its over-16 population fully vaccinated, followed by NSW (90.4) and Victoria (85.7).

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