Over the past almost two years, Tasmania, like so much of the world, has been engaged in the battle of our generation. Beating COVID-19.

With the state reaching the 70 per cent double dose vaccination milestone, we can see victory in sight.

I want to thank each and every Tasmanian for the incredible job you’ve done.

Thank you to all Tasmanians who have had a double dose of COVID-19 vaccine – and to those who have a second dose booked in.

Each and every vaccination brings us closer bringing our country together again, and reuniting with the world.

Families and friends can get together. Businesses can get going again. Firing up jobs.

And I look forward to the safe easing of border restrictions as the vaccination rates continues to surge across Australia.

Tasmania has been leading the vaccine charge for so much of the rollout, setting the pace for others states to follow.

You’ve rolled up your sleeves, with a first dose vaccination rate well over 85 per cent, almost on par with the UK, and a double vaccination rate that’s higher than the US on total population.

I’m sure that the state’s high vaccination rate was a comfort during the recent lockdown.

Currently, Tasmania and Victoria have hit the 70 per cent double vaccination rate, and New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have surpassed the 80 per cent double vaccination rate.

As a nation, 70 per cent of Australians aged 16 years of age and older are now fully vaccinated too.

In fact, Australia’s double dose vaccination rate has surpassed the United States, and over the coming month we are on track to overtake Israel, France and Germany.

And with first doses administered to around two thirds of 12 to 15-year-olds, thank you to all those parents and kids for responding magnificently to the challenge.

We have now administered more than 33 million vaccines around the country.

We’re taking our lives back.

And it’s been achieved by Tasmanians – and Australians and their governments from all states and territories – buying into the National Plan. Working together.

Our government rolled up our sleeves with record economic support.

Our Government has provided almost $3 billion in economic support to Tasmania to date.

We've saved lives and livelihoods through the Australian way, and now Australians are reclaiming their Australian way of life.

Whether you’re in Tasmania or New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland or Western Australia, we can feel proud.

Vaccinations are clearly winning the fight.

The vaccines are doing their job.

The vaccines are working.

As a result, freedoms are very close for every state or territory that has at some stage been subject to lockdown or for those states locked in and wanting to see loved ones interstate.

Planes are ready for take off again, as we prepare to reignite international travel and bring Australians home.

All of this has been achieved by following the National Plan, and Australians getting vaccinated at record rates.

We understand that every state is starting at a different point, but we all want the same ending – to bring our country together again, and join the rest of the world.

I know all Premiers and Chief Ministers want this. It’s what the National Plan that we agreed to pursue is all about.

For locked down states, it’s been about winning freedoms back.

For others, it’s about protecting the freedoms you’ve been fortunate to enjoy by safely reopening as a nation.

But for everyone, it’s about getting back to living our lives as we once did, as best we can.

The vaccine supply is there for everyone. Right now.

So please go and get your second jab. Encourage your friends and family to also get vaccinated.

It’s been long and tough. There have been many sacrifices.

But we can’t be complacent.

We still have to take one step at a time safely and ensure we always put that safety goal first as we reopen our country.

So thank you again. For rolling up your sleeves, not just in terms of getting the vaccines. But with the sacrifices you’ve made, and the resilience you’ve demonstrated.

And thank you to the thousands of nurses, doctors, pharmacists and healthcare workers who have cared for us, protected us and vaccinated us.

Let’s bring this home – that 70 per cent has to become an 80.

And most importantly, ensure that we are back together with our families, friends and loved ones this Christmas, making this Christmas the best ever.

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister of Australia