Tasmania is in the unique position in that we are separated from the rest of Australia by Bass Straight. For this reason alone we could take greater carefulness in the way we allow people and goods to come into the State. The main entry points by air are Hobart and Launceston. There are other airports but in this crisis I expect will not operate due to a lack of traffic. Passenger cars and Cargo come mainly through Burnie or Devonport.
As it i now stands most sporting venues and other places where people are likely to congregate in larger numbers have been cancelled. Schools are another venue which are already under scrutiny but to date public schools at least have remained open.
The epicenter for the Corona virus would appear to be N.S.W and probably emanates from Sydney which would be one of the main entry points for returning citizens, visitors or others entering Australia. The documented level of infection is double that of Tasmania (per million persons). All infected persons so far in Tasmania have come from outside Tasmania and apparently are being successfully isolated at this stage.
The experts talk about flattening the curve so as to slow down the rate at which the virus infect the populace. This is a play on the mathematics but even though some of the methods may be construed draconian it seems to be working in Korea and China. It is important that the curve be flattened as it gives our hospitals a better chance of coping as the number of infected persons increases. It also extends the waiting period whereby other solutions to treatment might come into play including a vaccine.
Peter Gutwein however says that the borders won’t be closed. He assumes that closing the borders will adversely affect the movement of goods. Why this should be so I cannot understand. Trailors can be located on ferries or transported in containers and off loaded by local drivers once they arrive in Tasmanian ports. People can come to Tasmania but as with overseas visitors should spend 2 weeks in self isolation. Tourist travel from overseas now can be expected to be negligible until the crisis wanes and the self isolation measures are rescinded. Australians wanting to travel could come to Tasmania still but would have to self isolate for 2 weeks. This could be an arrangement whereby safe localities are selected for self isolation.
The corona virus isn’t something to be treated lightly and every step should be taken to prevent people dying from it. Tasmania has an aging population too who are more lightly to be affect. We are at the beginning of the exponential growth period of this virus and being rigorous in our our approach should not be lessoned.
The legalities of closing the border to the mainland has been questioned by some more versed in legal matters than myself. But in fact what we would be doing is not closing the border but putting restrictions on the mode of entry. The number of procedures are being adopted to constrain the infection rate are already changing daily. We therefore should be doing exactly what is the best set of rules for our set of conditions.