As we continue our response to COVID-19, the Tasmanian Government is providing the strong leadership required to emerge from the pandemic and secure Tasmania’s Future.
The recent case in the North of the State was yet another reminder that this is not over and COVID remains, and will continue to remain, a risk to our State, our community and our families.
Pleasingly, Tasmanians continue to do the right thing and roll up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccination, with over 80 per cent of Tasmanians having received their first dose, and more than 65 per cent fully vaccinated.
Our best weapon to reduce the risk is vaccination, so our message to all eligible Tasmanians remains – please, don’t wait. Vaccinate.
Importantly, we are already acting to ensure every eligible Tasmanian has the opportunity to have a COVID-19 vaccination.
Vaccination teams have already visited our 11-12 colleges, both Government and independent, and vaccination teams will also soon be going into a number of regional Tasmanian high schools to deliver Pfizer vaccines to students aged 12 years and over, as well as staff and parents.
Pop up vaccination clinics are also planned for Bridgewater, Berridale, Huonville, Oatlands, Ouse, New Norfolk, Scottsdale, Smithton, Wynyard and Risdon Vale, and we will shortly be advertising for the roll out of additional Small Towns vaccination teams.
This will target a number of areas where we need to lift the vaccination rate such as Winnaleah, Beauty Point, Mole Creek, Railton, Redpa, and Irish Town, Hamilton, Miena, Tullah, and Strahan.
With our vaccination program proceeding well, we remain on track to be in a position to open our borders before Christmas, subject to achieving our goal that all eligible Tasmanians have had the opportunity to get vaccinated and importantly, reaching our vaccination targets of 90 per cent of over 16-year-olds fully vaccinated by 1 December, with 12-15 years olds to also be fully vaccinated around the same time.
Next week, I will also be in a position to release Tasmanian specific modelling around reopening, along with our plan to reopen our borders.
My expectation is that those who want to travel to Tasmania will need to be fully vaccinated and provide a negative test in the 72 hours before they arrive, with consideration being given to whether there is any testing regime upon arrival.
What we know is that when we do open our borders to those larger states, the virus will eventually end up in Tasmania.
That is why all eligible Tasmanians need to ensure that they get vaccinated, as it remains our best defence and our best chance of returning to a more normal way of living.