Tasmania sets 90 per cent summer jab aim

Tasmania is aiming to achieve 90 per cent vaccination by summer, so the island state can reopen.
Tasmania is aiming to achieve 90 per cent vaccination by summer, so the island state can reopen.

Tasmania is targeting a 90 per cent coronavirus vaccination rate by December so the island can "open with confidence" for summer and Christmas.

Premier Peter Gutwein announced the ambition on Friday as the state prepares to navigate through the national reopening plan.

More than half of Tasmanians aged over 16 have received both doses, a percentage behind only the ACT.

Mr Gutwein said he expects Australia to reach the 80 per cent fully vaccinated mark by late November, the target at which travel is likely to become more free.

"We have the opportunity in Tasmania to be 90 per cent by the first of December," Mr Gutwein said.

"That's where I want to be ... so we can open up with confidence in December and for Christmas and summer.

"I think it's a race, we need to aim for it."

Tasmania is currently closed to its two biggest domestic tourism markets, NSW and Victoria, plus the ACT and high-risk areas in other jurisdictions.

Mr Gutwein said any decision about relaxing borders as the vaccination targets are met will still be based on public health advice.

He said the state's first target was 80 per cent coverage by the Melbourne Cup, November 2.

Tasmania's reopening plan will be formed in more detail once Victoria and NSW announce their transition out of restrictions, Mr Gutwein said.

From Friday, Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations will be available to people aged 60 and over, while the government is open to supporting GPs to work longer hours.

Mr Gutwein also announced the state will trial home quarantine for residents returning from regional New South Wales who have been fully vaccinated.

The pilot, to run for 30 days, will begin next week and require people to return a negative COVID-19 test before travelling and live alone in a suitable house while quarantining.

Mr Gutwein said the state's hotel quarantine system is at capacity and there are about 200 Tasmanians waiting to come home.

Several hundred additional hotel quarantine rooms will be opened in Hobart from next week.

"It's time to bring Tasmanians home," Mr Gutwein said.

Despite having no active COVID-19 cases, and just one case this year, Tasmanians will be required to wear masks at events with more than 1000 people from Saturday.

Australian Associated Press