Tasmania cold on reopening to Victoria

Peter Gutwein will this week reveal whether Tasmania will reopen to COVID-19 impacted Victoria.
Peter Gutwein will this week reveal whether Tasmania will reopen to COVID-19 impacted Victoria.

Tasmania appears likely keep its borders closed to Victoria amid a coronavirus spike in suburban Melbourne.

The island state is planning to reopen to mainland Australia on July 24, but is reviewing the virus situation in other jurisdictions on a day-by-day basis.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein expects to on Friday provide more information about whether the state will reopen to Victoria, following a formal risk assessment this week.

"It would obviously be very difficult to lower our borders to Victoria at this current time," he told reporters on Sunday.

"It's quite clear that Victoria has significant community transmission at a number of postcode areas.

"Importantly, we will not lower our borders in a way that would put the health and safety of Tasmanians at risk."

The island state is free of active coronavirus cases, with its last recorded new case coming more than 50 days ago.

"(We) just need look over our fence to Victoria to see how damaging (a second wave) could be. The last thing that we want to see occur is further shutdowns in Tasmania," Mr Gutwein said.

If Tasmania stayed closed to Victoria it could make life difficult for incoming travellers from other states, with many flights traditionally transferring through Melbourne.

Mr Gutwein said there was "interest" in direct flights to Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, but the establishment of such links would be demand driven.

Tasmania has required all non-essential arrivals to quarantine for 14 days since closing its borders in March.

Victoria recorded 182 new COVID-19 cases across the weekend, with a Saturday spike forcing the lockdown of nine inner Melbourne public housing blocks.

Australian Associated Press