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PCR tests to be free for Tassie visitors

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Good news for travellers looking to come into our state, with changes made to the testing requirements.

The State Government has confirmed tourists coming from high-risk destinations can get a PCR test from a State-run clinic, at no cost.

Pre-testing is required for incoming travellers from December 15, for up to four weeks.

Previously, tourism groups had raised concerns across the country about the costs of the test and how they could be a barrier for travel.

Interstate travellers will need to return a negative PCR test and be fully vaccinated before arriving in Tasmania, meaning our own-state run clinics will be providing tests to residents looking to travel out of the state.

Premier Peter Gutwein has maintained there is ample capacity within our clinics to cater for the uptake in travel.

The free PCR tests remove a potential barrier for travel for both for those wanting to come home to visit family and friends, or for those wanting to come and experience what Tasmania has to offer.

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Health authorities are reminding eligible locals to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated before the borders open to high risk states.

Currently, over 93 per cent of Tasmanians 16 years and over are now fully vaccinated.

85.7 percent of the group have rolled up their sleeves for their first jab.

Almost 70 per cent of 12-to-15-year-olds and over 78 per cent of 16-to-19-year-olds have had their first COVID jab, health authorities hoping boost those rates in the next three weeks.

In the meantime, the first teenage winners out of the weekend's vaccination blitz have been drawn.

Prizes were on offer for teens aged 12 to 18 years old who got the jab, in a bid to boost vaccination rates among younger residents.

Glenorchy resident Hoin Kim, Emmanuel Kamara of Newnham and Latrobe local Melanie Garrad have been picked at random to win either an iPhone or iPad.

The three are the first of 15 Tasmanians set to win – five per region (North, North-West and South) – during the five-day period, with more to be announced in the coming days.

The five day incentive is still running and will wrap up tomorrow, with state-run clinics operating after school hours to give more young people the chance to be vaccinated.