Tasmania delays reopening to mainland

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says the state will not reopen its borders on July 24 as planned.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says the state will not reopen its borders on July 24 as planned.

Tasmania has delayed its planned border reopening over worries Victoria's COVID-19 outbreak may have spread to other states.

The island state was planning to reopen to mainland visitors on July 24 but on Friday that was pushed back at least one week.

"We will use these next couple of weeks to gain a full understanding of what the outbreak in Victoria means for the rest of country," Premier Peter Gutwein said.

He raised concerns about the virus spreading from Victoria to other states despite hard border closures.

"We've heard there have been a numbers of cases exported to the ACT and NSW and that's a reasonable cause for concern," State Public Health Director Mark Veitch said.

Mr Gutwein earlier this week announced the planned July 24 reopening wouldn't include Victoria, which on Friday confirmed a record daily increase of 288 new COVID-19 cases.

Tasmania has implemented a hard border with Victoria, declaring people arriving from the mainland state without a special permit will be turned back.

Tasmania is free of coronavirus and last recorded a new case more than 50 days ago.

The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is pushing for social restrictions to be eased in light of the border delay and state's good virus position.

Mr Gutwein is planning to meet with tourism bodies next week to discuss additional support measures.

Australian Associated Press