EXPLAINER

Tasmanian borders opens to ACT residents

ACT residents can travel to Tasmania with quarantining from Monday. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
ACT residents can travel to Tasmania with quarantining from Monday. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Canberrans eager for an overseas trip will no doubt rejoice the opening of the Tasmanian border.

From Monday, ACT residents can cross the Bass Strait for a Tasmanian holiday without undertaking quarantine.

The island state, which was the first to shut its borders in March, has recorded more than 70 days without a new COVID-19 case.

Here's what you need to know before you head off.

Who can go to Tasmania?

The state government has divided mainland states and territories into low, medium and high-risk zones, which determines who can leave the mainland without quarantining on arrival.

Low-risk zones are the ACT, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New Zealand. Anyone from these locations can enter the state without quarantine.

NSW is considered medium-risk and travellers are required to undertake two weeks quarantine in Tasmania.

Victoria and cruise ships are classed as high-risk and require an exemption to enter at all.

What do you need to do before you go?

The form requires contact details and information on where you have been before entering Tasmania. You will receive a QR code when registered that is scanned when you enter into the state.

If travellers have not registered online before arriving they will need to complete a form.

Everyone who arrives via air and seaports will be screened and tested for coronavirus if they have symptoms.

Can you fly from Canberra?

Four return flights will run between Canberra and Hobart weekly, from November 5.

The route is already booked out until mid-November and a one-way ticket will set you back between $400 and $500.

Under the Tasmanian government's rules, Canberrans are allowed to travel through NSW to an airport but must only stop for fuel.

There are multiple flights from Sydney Airport to Launceston and Hobart each week which cost between $150 to $500.

What about the Spirit of Tasmania?

The exemption which allows Canberrans to get to Sydney Airport means we can also cross the Victorian border to board the Spirit of Tasmania.

The state government said people from low-risk areas could travel directly through medium and high-risk zones to access an air or seaport.

However, travellers must only stop for fuel unless granted other exemptions from the Tasmanian deputy state controller.

All passengers on board the boat will be required to wear a face mask but those from low-risk areas don't need to remain in their cabin.

The boat is operating normally and runs most days.

Where else can Canberrans travel? 

Canberrans can travel to all states and territories expect Western Australia.

Although Canberrans can enter Victoria they would be required to follow the coronavirus restrictions in the state and do two weeks in quarantine upon return to the ACT.

When can NSW residents go to Tasmania?

Under the current rules residents of Queanbeyan and other parts of NSW bordering the ACT cannot yet take advantage of quarantine-free travel.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said last week the border may open to NSW from next Monday, but authorities would continue to monitor the situation.

He said it was pleasing the state was recording low numbers of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases each day.

"If the situation changes, if it worsens we won't hesitate to keep our borders restricted with that state," he said.

It is expected the border with Victoria will remain closed until December 1.

This story The Tasmanian border is open. Here's what you need to know before you go first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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