Tasmania – It has been announced today that Tasmania, an island state of Australia located to the south of the Australian mainland, has locked down its borders to overseas visitors, including the rest of Australia.
Ministers in the island state, which is home to Wrest Point Hotel Casino, Australia’s first legal casino opened in 1973, said that it was implementing the ‘toughest border measures in the country’ to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Wrest Point Hotel Casino is situated in Sandy Bay in Hobart, Tasmania, received a 70 million dollar investment, bringing ‘five new dining outlets and more bars, a private VIP gaming room and a complete new contemporary feel across the entire casino’.
The measures are classed as a state of emergency and only essential travellers are allowed to enter.
Peter Gutwein, an Australian politician said:
“We know that for some it will create disruption, but our aim is to ensure that we protect the health, wellbeing and safety of Tasmanians and we would ask people to work with us as we implement these measures and as they are managed over coming weeks.”
Gutwein expanded on the details of the border closure:
“Our ships will continue to run, the TT Line will have, I expect, more opportunity to carry more freight into the state as a result of the fact that there will be, I expect, less people travelling.”
The move has been criticised by many, particularly those in the leisure and tourism industries, which contribute over three billion Australian dollars to Tasmania’s economy per year.
A small hospitality business owner Claire Corrigan spoke out:
“In the current situation everyone needs to start thinking about ways in which we can all help the community. We can look at that second, but first and foremost we need to look after each other, especially the vulnerable in our community. I think there will be a bounce back.”
Rob Pennicott also added his views on the measures and what others need to be doing going forward:
“What we are intending to do is get our staff to understand the Government is going to take a big hit; we will take a big hit; the banks will take a big hit; we want our staff to take a hit and see what they need to pay a mortgage and survive. We’re allowed to put casuals off work, but I think it’s important to keep the community of workers with the employer so when we bounce back we’ve got the staff to do it. I believe that good employers should top up that amount to get to a point of survival.”