Covid 19 coronavirus transtasman bubble: NZ travellers can enter Tasmania without quarantining from Monday

New Zealanders can travel to Tasmania without needing to quarantine from Monday.

The island state, located about 240km south of the Australian mainland, is opening its borders for the first time since March.

However, travellers heading from Victoria and New South Wales will still need to quarantine.

Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein said yesterday the border restrictions would be eased to those travelling from low-risk areas.

The risk level is determined by the number of Covid-19 cases or the level of community transmission in those areas, as well as public health advice.

Low-risk areas are Queensland, the ACT, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and New Zealand.

“This means that incoming travellers from these low-risk jurisdictions will not need to quarantine – as long as they have not spent time in medium or high-risk areas in the 14 days prior to arriving in Tasmania,” Gutwein said.

New Zealanders heading to Tasmania will still need to fly into mainland Australia first, because Tasmania does not have an international airport.

There were nine new cases of the virus in New Zealand yesterday, one a household contact connected to the cluster.

The marine employee cluster has increased to include three other positive cases and has businesses throughout Auckland scrambling after being alerted to links to new infections.

As more connections get announced each day, more businesses are discovering people who later went on to test positive visited them.

A pub and a gym have been forced to close, and a superyacht company and a marine supply store have been thoroughly cleaned.

On Friday last week, flights from New Zealand began touching down in NSW and the NT as part of the first instalment of the one-way travel bubble with Australia.

And after a turbulent weekend, the future of bubbles may already be about to burst.

Last weekend, dozens of New Zealanders spilt into Victoria and Western Australia onboard domestic flights despite both states opting out of the travel arrangements.

Under the new corridor, New Zealand residents can enter NSW and the Northern Territory without having to undertake 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine.

But the watertight plan seemingly burst at the seams, as about 23 New Zealand travellers slipped into Western Australia despite the state having a hard border with overseas arrivals.

In Victoria, the state which has battled Australia’s worst Covid-19 outbreak, 65 New Zealanders entered without the state government’s knowledge and another five entered South Australia.

It is understood the travellers entered Victoria and Western Australia after flying into NSW, and boarding domestic flights into other states.

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews hit out at the Federal Government, saying he – along with his counterpart in Western Australia – had “absolutely no idea” travellers from New Zealand were entering their states, despite opting out of the travel bubble arrangement.

“We are not particularly pleased that we were asked the question, do you want to be in a bubble, and it turns out that even though we said no, we are, but that is the fact of the matter, that is what we faced,” he told media on Monday.

“Ultimately, we are in the bubble, whether we like it or not … We can’t stop these people coming here, unless of course the Prime Minister and [acting Immigration Minister Alan] Tudge and whoever else has been wheeled out to apparently blame me for what happens at Sydney Airport, Perth Airport, Hobart Airport, you know, come on – stopping the Federal Government is in charge of the borders.”

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