Travellers to Tasmania will be required to take a rapid antigen test one day before arriving in the island state, as it moves to scrap its 72-hour PCR test requirement.

The state recorded 92 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and the first virus-related hospitalisations since its borders reopened a fortnight ago.

The fresh infections are a daily record and take the number of overall active cases in Tasmania to 386.

Visitors will be required to take a rapid antigen test before entering Tasmania, Peter Gutwein says

Visitors will be required to take a rapid antigen test before entering Tasmania, Peter Gutwein says

Visitors will be required to take a rapid antigen test before entering Tasmania, Peter Gutwein says

Premier Peter Gutwein has announced that, from 12.01am on January 1, all travellers to the state will be required to take a rapid antigen test 24 hours before their arrival.

This removes the requirement for interstate travellers to take PCR tests 72 hours before travel, which had led to long queues and wait times in other states and territories.

Mr Gutwein said only people with COVID-19 symptoms, or those who have returned a positive rapid antigen test, will be required to get a PCR test in Tasmania.

He said two rapid antigen testing sites will set up in the south to provide free tests, however they will not be walk-up testing locations.  

‘Please do not just turn up to these sites,’ the premier said in Hobart on Thursday.

‘Health will prioritise who is eligible for a rapid antigen test and will contact those people directly and arrange for them to turn up and receive tests at the locations that are being established.’

The majority of Tasmania’s cases, 178, are being managed at home, while there are 74 people in community management clinics.

Two cases are in hospital but not intensive care, while another person with coronavirus remains in hospital for a different medical condition.

The state was free of COVID-19 when it reopened to fully vaccinated travellers from mainland hotspots on December 15.

Meanwhile, St Ann’s aged care facility in Hobart was forced into lockdown on Wednesday after a staff member who had worked there on Christmas Day tested positive.

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