Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l)Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar Airways (JQ, Melbourne Tullamarine) will resume flights between Victoria and Tasmania as a result of border restrictions lifting from November 27, 2020, the airlines announced.

This followed a decision by Tasmania‘s government to classify Victoria as low-risk for COVID-19 from November 27, after downgrading it to medium risk from November 13. The state also downgraded South Australia to medium-risk status from November 16. However, travellers from overseas (other than New Zealand) and cruise ship passengers remained rated as high-risk.

The Qantas Group, in response, announced it intended to resume operating 84 weekly return services across three Tasmanian routes from Melbourne Tullamarine, providing more than 12,000 seats weekly between the two states from November 27.

Jetstar would resume flights between Melbourne and Launceston with 19 weekly services, and increase frequencies between Melbourne and Hobart Int'l with 26 weekly services, up from just five in October.

Qantas would resume flights on three routes, with 14x weekly services between Melbourne and Launceston, 13x weekly between Melbourne and Hobart, and 12x weekly between Melbourne and Devonport.

Jetstar Group Chief Executive Officer Gareth Evans welcomed the announcement from the Tasmanian government as “a significant step forward in Australia’s recovery”. He said it would significantly boost tourism between the two states and get more people back to flying.

Meanwhile, Tasmania said the areas where travellers had spent time before their arrival determined the conditions for their entry into the state. Travellers who had spent time in a medium-risk area 14 days before arrival in Tasmania were required to quarantine and submit their intended quarantine location. Those who had spent time in a low-risk area 14 days before arrival were not required to quarantine but were required to register their travel and contact details before arrival.

The re-opening of Tasmania's border comes as the New South Wales government reopens its border to Victoria on November 23, 2020.

As of November 16, 2020, no new COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed for 17 consecutive days in Victoria, with the total standing at 20,345 cases.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Qantas and Jetstar also operate to Hobart from Sydney Kingsford Smith, with Qantas also flying from Perth Int'l and Jetstar from Brisbane Int'l. Link Airways (FC, Canberra) serves Tasmania from Canberra. Hamilton-based Sharp Airlines flies to Flinders Island and King Island from Melbourne Essendon. Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) on November 23 resumes 2x weekly flights between Brisbane and Launceston, increasingly adding more flights, totalling daily services on the route by December 28, 2020.