A year on from Tasmania reopening its borders, how do people feel after the COVID wall came down?

Home Politics A year on from Tasmania reopening its borders, how do people feel after the COVID wall came down?
A year on from Tasmania reopening its borders, how do people feel after the COVID wall came down?

One year ago today Tasmania opened back up to the rest of the country.

For nearly two-and-a-half-years the state had travel restrictions in place, separating Tasmanians from family members and friends, and cutting off tourists from an economy heavily reliant on them.

During that time, Tasmania became one of the few places on earth with little to no COVID-19 in the community.

But after December 15, 2021, “fortress Tasmania” was suddenly letting it back in.

On the eve of the borders opening in 2021, the ABC spoke to a number of everyday Tasmanians about how they were feeling.

Now, for the anniversary, we caught up with them again.

Li Joy wears a hat.
Li Joy says reopening Tasmania has “made a big difference to taxi drivers”.(ABC News: Will Murray)

‘Mine was the worst when the COVID came’

When the borders were shut, flights in and out of Hobart airport virtually dried up.

Taxi driver Li Joy’s livelihood relied on airport traffic.

“Ninety per cent, it’s a financial crisis,” he told the ABC last December.

Since the border opened, and flights returned he’s been able to recoup some of his losses.

“Tasmania is a tourist place, and without tourists our economy would be really bad,” he said.

“[Opening up] has made a big difference to taxi drivers, who can take more jobs and see more money flow.”

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