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Tasmanian Government to ban travel from 'Queensland hotspots'

ABC Health logo ABC Health 31/07/2020
a group of people standing in a room: Some people from Queensland could be banned from entering Tasmania. (ABC News: David Hudspeth) © Provided by ABC Health Some people from Queensland could be banned from entering Tasmania. (ABC News: David Hudspeth)

The Tasmanian Government will ban travel into the state from "Queensland hotspots" in a bid to stop any spread of infection that may have been caused by a group of women accused of skipping quarantine in the sunshine state.

Three Queensland women - Diana Lasu, 21, Olivia Muranga, 19, and a 21-year-old from Algester — have been charged with fraud and lying to health officials to evade quarantine after a trip to Melbourne.

Two of the women were diagnosed with coronavirus upon their return.

Speaking on Friday, Tasmania's Director of Public Health Mark Veitch said the "hotspots" would include places visited by the women.

"There are a number of … places we now know they spent several hours in, and it's possible those are the sorts of settings where infection can be transmitted," Dr Veitch said.

"We will be adding those locations to a list of what we call 'affected premises'.

"Anyone who seeks to come to Tasmania who has been to one of those premises won't be able to enter Tasmania unless they are a Tasmanian resident or they are an essential worker."

Dr Veitch added it was "fairly unlikely" anyone wishing to enter would have visited the same premises as the women.

Travellers from Victoria and parts of New South Wales are already banned from entering Tasmania without a State Government exemption.

Premier Peter Gutwein said the exact hotspots would be announced later on Friday.

He warned anyone entering Tasmania to "tell the truth".

"Do not think that you can get away with entering the state if you've been in a hotspot," he said.

"If you don't tell the truth, we will catch you, and we will throw the book at you.

"This is critical, it is life or death."

Tasmania back to zero active coronavirus cases

Since July 9, 11 people have been turned away trying to enter the state from banned hotspots.

Three people have been charged with breaching quarantine protocols.

Currently, all non-essential travellers to the state are required to quarantine for 14 days — either at home or in a Government quarantine hotel.

Any Tasmanian residents returning home from Victoria are required to enter hotel quarantine if they do not have an exemption.

#dayssinceEMBEDfull

Tasmania's borders are due to open to travellers from South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia next Friday.

On Friday, Mr Gutwein also announced the state was now once again coronavirus-free, with zero active cases after the recovery of a woman who had tested positive while in quarantine.

Tasmania has had 227 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths.

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