Tasmanian reopening, NZ border bubble to commence

Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania

Tasmania will begin reopening its border while New South Wales and the Northern Territory will welcome New Zealanders by the end of this month.

The Apple Isle’s reopening currently excludes the nation’s two most populous states but is a favourable development for the Australian Racing Group’s suite of categories, for which rounds at Symmons Plains and Baskerville are planned in January 2021.

There is no indication on when Victorian arrivals may be allowed, but NSW could yet be included when travellers from the other five states/territories are permitted from October 26.

“It’s important that we start moving towards welcoming back interstate visitors as it plays a vital role in growing our economy, providing jobs for Tasmanians,” said Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein today.

“But we must be prepared for this step and we spent the time while our borders have been restricted to take the necessary actions to be comfortable and confident in our ability to respond to cases and outbreaks if they occur stopping today.

“I can confirm that based on advice from the state control and public health, our plan is to reopen our borders to safe and low risk COVID states from the 26th of October.

“At this stage, low-risk states include South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, the two territories – Northern Territory and the ACT – and New South Wales is looking very promising as well.

“But we will continue to keep New South Wales under advisement for the next week or so, but their progress has been very positive.”

ARG CEO Matt Braid told Speedcafe.com last month that its Tasmanian events were still looking likely.

“(Given) conversations we’ve had through GRM (Garry Rogers Motorsport), who are assisting there in linking with the Tasmanian Government, at this stage it’s all systems go,” he explained.

“But we’ve just got to watch it. I think, certainly in the new year, hopefully there’s some fairly clear path, albeit we’ll maybe have to run various protocols and so forth.”

Meanwhile, New Zealanders will be able to freely enter NSW and the Northern Territory from October 16, provided they do not come from hotspots.

They will, however, still have to observe quarantine upon their return.

“They are welcome to come to the Northern Territory, welcome to come to New South Wales, and this is the first stage in what we hope to see as a trans-Tasman bubble between the two countries stopping not just that state and that territory,” said Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, today.

“And I know that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and I know that the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Michael Gunner, welcome this indeed.”

Supercars CEO Sean Seamer has declared his intent that the championship race in New Zealand in April next year, as it was planned to do this year.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also announced today that the Sunshine State will reopen to all of NSW on November 1 if its southern neighbour notches up 28 straight days without “unlinked cases” (community transmission).

The 2021 Supercars calendar is due to be announced this month.

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