The peak tourism body in Tasmania wants full vaccination an entry requirement for all visitors into the state.
Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania CEO Luke Martin told the ABC: “People should be required to have a vaccine before entering Tasmania.”
“Other states are going that way, we’ve seen Europe go that way. Tassie should lead and show everyone certainty and confidence.”
Mr Martin did give a specific time frame as to when we wanted to make this happen but he continued to outline his plan and its importance.
“If we’re going to open up our borders, we want to protect the community and our own industry and part of that should be an expectation that if you get the Tas-E-Travel pass, the no-restriction travel, then you should have been expected to have had your two shots.”
Motivating this plan is the impact of hard lockdowns on Tasmania businesses, the ABC also spoke to Rob Pennicott of Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, who agreed that vaccines are the way forward.
“I think it’s the solution.”
“To have 80 or 90% of people vaccinated is the best thing we can look forward to …hopefully then we’d get a really good interstate market.”
“We have a bit over half our staff vaccinated. I think in time we’ll have nearly everyone vaccinated by Christmas.”
Mr Pennicott’s business took a significant hit when COVID first hit and has suffered substantially again with the latest lockdowns.
“The last five weeks it has died, we’re down 90%, refunded 90% of the money and 90% cancellations…we went backwards last month quite a lot.”
Tasmania’s small business minister Sarah Courtney also spoke to the ABC and was less forthcoming about what could happen.
“I’m not going to rule anything in or out. The entire time through COVID we have done what’s in the best interests for Tasmania and will continue to do that.”
“We recognise the importance, as we come out of COVID, to be able to have a national response, however, ultimately our highest priority are the outcomes for Tasmania.”