Before today Peter Gutwein had already ruled out lowering borders to travellers from Victoria.(ABC News Mitch Woolnough)ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelTasmania will not be opening its borders on July 24, as was previously announced. Key points:The reopening of Tasmania's borders has been delayed for another weekThe Director of Public Health says it's important to understand if the Victorian outbreak has spread to other statesThe tourism industry says it's bracing for a tough few weeksPremier Peter Gutwein said the lowering of the borders would be deferred by at least a week, if not longer.He said it was important to have a clearer picture about what was happening with coronavirus in the rest of the country before Tasmania lowered its borders."It's important, as we have stepped through this carefully, cautiously and responsibly, that we use these next couple of weeks to gain a full understanding of just what the outbreak of Victoria means for the rest of the country," he said."I hope, as I'm sure most Australians do, that Victoria will get on top of it and we won't see community transmission occur in those other states to a great degree."Coronavirus live news: Follow all the latest information in our blog.He said Tasmania was in the fortunate position of being one of the safest places in the country."We need to ensure that we maintain that position as we move forward and only open up when we are confident that the safety of Tasmanians whilst travelling, but also when they return to Tasmania, in terms of local communities and local families, that they aren't put at risk," he said.Read more about coronavirus:These countries had widespread community transmission before a lockdownWe asked scientists what to do about the Victorian border. They had a surprising answerVictorian cases 'exported' to ACT, NSWDirector of Public Health Mark Veitch said "the situation in mainland Australia was changing"."It was clear earlier this week that the prospect of opening the border to Victoria, in the short-term, was very slim," he said."The situation in mainland Australia, beyond Victoria, has actually seemed pretty good for the most part over the recent weeks."I said only a couple of days ago, that outside of Victoria, mainland Australia had some of the lowest rates of coronavirus infection in the world and that actually does remain true."But he said he'd advised the Premier that Tasmania should wait three weeks before contemplating opening the borders to the rest of the country to ensure the Victorian outbreak had not spread. "There've been a number of cases exported from Victoria to the ACT and to New South Wales and that's a reasonable cause for concern as is the substantial movement of people between the states," he said. "[Three weeks would] give us sufficient time to thoroughly assess what was occurring in the mainland states and to be assured that there wasn't establishment of transmission in those states that would pose a risk to Tasmania if people came from those states to here." Dr Veitch said Tasmania could eventually open its borders to states with active cases, but certain conditions would need to be met."I would want to see a situation where cases in the states were contained, that there weren't increasing of cases in the other mainland states, and there weren't large numbers."Tough few weeks for tourism industryTourism industry chief executive Luke Martin said he understood the rationale behind keeping the borders closed, but it would be tough on tourism businesses."We know that our recovery will happen strongly," he said."We know it will happen almost immediately, as soon as our border restrictions are lifted, but clearly timing is the issue."Moving things out by a week or two to the other parts of a country is a challenge, but obviously the Victorian situation, which is the bulk of our market is a critical issue," he said.Mr Martin said whilst Tasmanians were holidaying at home during the school holidays, August was likely to be very quiet. "Whilst Tasmanians are getting out and exploring our regions and filling up or businesses right now, that's finite, and we know we're in for a very difficult few weeks ahead," he said.The Tasmanian Small Business Council's Robert Mallet said if Tasmania's borders were to remain shut, internal restrictions needed to be relaxed further."Keeping the borders closed is a devastating blow for Tasmanian business, at a time when many were preparing to get back up and running with the expected opening of the borders," he said."Government now needs to lessen the burden and make doing business within Tasmania as easy as possible, by removing restrictions such as the two square metre rule."He also said he'd like to see further consideration given to a New Zealand travel bubble.The Premier will provide an update on the borders on July 24.
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