Tasmania forcing non-essential travellers to self-quarantine from midnight (20th March)

ByIsaac BoberMarch 19, 2020
Tasmania forcing non-essential travellers to self-quarantine from midnight (20th March)

The Tasmanian Government has announced it will, in essence, close its borders from midnight (20th March) to all non-essential travellers. Those that do visit will be forced to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Tasmanian Premier, Peter Gutwein has declared a state of emergency in Tasmania, effectively closing its borders to non-essential travellers from midnight tonight (20th March). Those non-essential travellers that do choose to travel to Tasmania from tomorrow will be forced to self-quarantine for 14 days. That’s not social distancing which we should all be doing anyway, that’s quarantine; that’s not leaving the house. For 14 days. And if you do, then you run the risk of a fine of up to $16,800.

So, what does this mean for four-wheel drivers and caravanners planning school holiday trips to the Apple Isle? Well, we’d suggest you’ll be holidaying closer to home. Or, at home.

Tasmanian Premier, Peter Gutwein said: “This is a tough, but necessary decision to flatten the curve, putting Tasmanians’ health and wellbeing first.

“The quarantine period will not apply to essential travellers – such as health care workers, emergency workers, defence personnel, air and ship crew, specialists, and essential freight personnel (truck drivers/spirit freight), and there will be stringent guidelines to manage this,” he said.

“Travel restrictions do not apply to Tasmanian residents on our islands, such as King and Flinders, flying into mainland Tasmania. However, they will apply to anyone travelling inbound to the island from mainland Australia including residents returning home to the island. Mainland Australians flying into our islands then onto mainland Tasmania will need to self- quarantine when they arrive.

“All passengers will be screened on arrival and must demonstrate they meet the essential traveller criteria.”

Essential goods will continue to flow into Tasmania, and anyone requiring interstate medical assistance will still receive it. “Freight will continue to come in and out of our state, and with TT-Line having capacity to carry extra freight, Tasmanians can be assured we will have the essential supplies we need,” Premier Gutwein said.

“As an island we are well placed to implement these tough restrictions and slowing the spread of coronavirus will ensure we are better placed to protect all Tasmanians.”

In other parts of the country, we’ve seen access to remote Aboriginal communities closed to non-essential visitors. The Far North of Cape York is one such area that’s now closed to travellers.

Given the spread of Coronavirus is such a fluid event, we’re expecting more travel restrictions to be imposed in the days and weeks to slow the spread of the virus. Stay tuned.