In news that’s making this incredibly homesick writer tear up as he types, Tasmania has announced that it will be re-opening its borders to Melbourne a handful of days earlier than previously scheduled.

Though existing border restrictions were originally set to be dumped on December 1st, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein announced a short time ago that that would be moved up to November 27th, following the 12th consecutive day of no new coronavirus cases in Metropolitan Melbourne.

Further to that, travellers entering Tasmania from Victoria will be classified as medium risk as of the end of this week, meaning that people will be permitted to self-quarantine in a private home rather than being forced to enter hotel quarantine.

The announcement comes after the state re-opened its borders to New South Wales last Friday. All other states and territories have been permitted to enter Tasmania without quarantine requirements since October 26th.

In addition to today’s travel announcement, the Tasmanian Government also confirmed that a raft of new COVID restrictions would be eased. “Vertical consumption” in outdoor sections of pubs and bars will be permitted from this Friday on, while the limit on private indoor gatherings will increase from 20 to 40.

The NSW Government is set to re-open its borders with Victoria from November 23rd, while there is some suggestion that Queensland could bring forward its planned Victorian re-opening date from December 1st.

All border re-opening protocols are subject to case numbers in the Metro Melbourne area remaining low.

There are just 4 remaining active cases of COVID-19 in the state. Despite the low numbers, testing rates in the state remain high, with 19,986 tests completed in Victoria across the past 24 hours.