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The Reopening of Tasmania’s Borders


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Tags: COVID-19, Health

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

fter nearly two years of relative safety from COVID, Tasmania opened its borders to all mainland states today. 

It’s estimated around 14 000 people each day will arrive here over Summer, and many of them will be from NSW and Victoria where both Delta and Omicron are on the loose.

In the past 24 hours, NSW and Victoria have each recorded more than 1000 new cases.  Modelling released today suggests NSW could be facing 25 000 new cases a day by the end of January. These factors, in a fast-changing situation, substantially elevate the risk of COVID entering Tasmania.

Having made the premature decision to open the border today in the middle of a global pandemic and before young children are vaccinated, Premier Peter Gutwein has an enormous responsibility on his shoulders.

He helped to keep Tasmanians safe for more than 18 months.  With the virus seemingly out of control in NSW and Victoria, and the NSW Premier lifting all restrictions today, we trust Peter Gutwein will have the flexibility and courage to pull up the drawbridge if necessary to protect the health and lives of Tasmanians.

 

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

he Omicron variant brings many unknowns, but what is clear from the rapidly increasing numbers overseas is it’s highly contagious. 

Tasmanian children won’t be vaccinated until the new year, and most people have not yet had their necessary third dose. 

There will likely be hundreds of thousands of visitors to Tasmania over summer, visiting family, friends and tourist attractions. 

Tasmania’s small population means we don’t have spare resources to fill roles when people are exposed or infected with COVID and need to isolate. This is especially the case with Biosecurity Tasmania and healthcare workers. 

The last 21 months have taken their toll on Tasmanians, and these experiences should not be in vain.  The missed family gatherings, the weddings and funerals, should not be sacrifices made for nothing. 

The Director of Public Health must be involved in all decision-making over summer. The Premier must put the health and safety of Tasmanians first, and have open communications through media conference.