Australia's peak business lobby is urging governments to avoid sudden border closures as the COVID vaccine rolls out further, claiming the cost to the economy runs into the billions.
In a report titled Shifting Gear, the Business Council of Australia argued that once stage 1b of the vaccine rollout has allowed for 6.8 million people to be vaccinated, state borders should remain permanently open.
It claims that domestic border closures cost the nation's economy $2.1 billion per month, while 52 per cent of Australians are avoiding interstate travel not out of fear of COVID, but concern about sudden border closures.
But the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania has been happy with the state government's approach to hotspots, which has been less drastic than most other states and territories.
TICT chief executive officer Luke Martin said the Tasmanian Government had taken a sensible approach in recent months and he expected borders would become less volatile as the year progresses.
"We think the Tasmanian Government's approach over recent weeks responding to hot spots when they present has been the appropriate response," he said.
"We certainly don't want to see Tasmania follow the path of some states in applying arbitrary border closures on whole states at the first sign of a case.
"We hope as the vaccine rolls out and the other states get these hotel quarantine outbreaks under control the risk of further lockdowns and border closures is reduced."
Recent cases of COVID escaping hotel quarantine in Melbourne and Sydney resulted in various parts of those cities being deemed medium or high risk to Tasmania, with different levels of restrictions placed on people who visited those areas.
Lists of locations where people were infectious were also shared widely, enabling those who had already travelled to Tasmania to check their status.
Western Australia takes a stance of shutting its borders to any state with community transmission, while the Queensland-NSW, South Australia-Victoria and Victoria-NSW borders have also been volatile.
Tasmania has not experienced a case of community transmission since May.
The BCA report, completed by Accenture, believed that once 13.3 million Australians had been vaccinated after stage 2a, international borders could open to returning Australians, international students and in-demand workers, still using hotel quarantine.
Accenture Australia managing director Andrew Charlton said tying border openings with key vaccination milestones would benefit the economy.
"Shifting to more targeted and lower-cost restrictions will give the community increased confidence as the vaccine rolls-out and the economy safely reopens," he said.