Tasmania delays border reopening

Peter Gutwein says Tasmania will no longer reopen its border to mainland Australia on July 24.
Peter Gutwein says Tasmania will no longer reopen its border to mainland Australia on July 24.

Tasmania has delayed the reopening of its border because of the coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne.

The island state was planning to welcome visitors from mainland Australia on July 24, but that date has been pushed back a week, if not longer.

"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 told reporters on Friday.

Mr Gutwein said he was worried about the potential of the virus spreading from Victoria to other states, and then Tasmania, despite hard border closures.

"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," he said.

"But we're in the fortunate position in Tasmania of being one of the safest places in the country.

"We need to ensure we maintain that position as we move forward."

Tasmania is free of COVID-19 and last recorded a case more than 50 days ago.

Mr Gutwein earlier this week implement a hard border with Victoria, declaring people from the mainland state without a special permit would be turned back.

He said a further border announcement would be made on July 24.

Australian Associated Press