Tasmania to lift virus restrictions early

Tasmania is moving to stage two of coronavirus restrictions on Friday, Premier Peter Gutwein says.
Tasmania is moving to stage two of coronavirus restrictions on Friday, Premier Peter Gutwein says.

Tasmania is relaxing coronavirus restrictions ahead of schedule for the upcoming long weekend, allowing camping trips, pub drinks and greater intrastate travel.

The state will move to stage two restrictions from 3pm on Friday, instead of an expected shift on June 15.

Tasmania hasn't recorded any COVID-19 cases in 17 days and just four of a total 226 confirmed cases remain active.

"While our journey isn't over by a long shot, we definitely are in a better place," Premier Peter Gutwein said on Tuesday.

Drinking at pubs without having to order food will be allowed.

A cap on pub patrons is likely to be lifted to 40 people subject to advice from public health and after industry consultation, the premier said.

Camping and overnight stays will be permitted, while residents have been given the green light to visit their holiday homes.

Mr Gutwein praised Tasmanians for abiding by public health rules but urged them to maintain social distancing.

"I would hope that we would see an uplift of people travelling around the state," he said.

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief operating officer Colleen Reardon said businesses will be breathing a sigh of relief.

"The premier has listened to the business community," she said in a statement.

"We are grateful that he has taken on board our call to begin lifting restrictions in line with public health advice."

Despite the early easing, Mr Gutwein remained firm on his decision to wait until early July before making a call on when to reopen the state's borders.

RESTRICTION CHANGES IN TASMANIA

* Up to 20 people allowed in cinemas, museums, galleries and at weddings

* Camping permitted, plus overnight accommodation stays

* Funeral limits lifted to 50 people

* Holiday home visits allowed, plus statewide boating

* Up to 10 household visitors permitted

* Open homes and auctions can resume with up to 20 people

* Up to 20 people allowed in gyms and boot camps

* Beauty therapy businesses and tattooists can reopen

* Outdoor and indoor sport can resume, under a 20-person limit

Australian Associated Press