When Premier Peter Gutwein introduced additional border restriction measures on July 8, it was hardly a surprise.
It was symbolic of the speed at which things can change. Just a few weeks before there was a renewed sense of optimism in Tasmania and Australia more broadly. Talks of interstate travel were again on the table.
However, COVID-19 outbreaks in Victoria quickly shifted a national response and to its credit, the Tasmanian government once again acted quickly to reduce the risk.
Victorians were suddenly banned from entering the state without an exemption. But for Tasmanians already in Victoria and considering coming home, things got a lot more complicated. Because for many Tasmanians, travelling interstate is not a choice - it's a necessity. Particularly those who are unable to receive the medical care they need here in the state's hospital system.
The Gutwein Government has acknowledged the conditions are tough but necessary. Tasmania Police Commissioner and State Controller Darren Hine has also been upfront about the demand on services.
However, when these measures were introduced, it was made clear that Tasmanians who needed to travel to Victoria for medical reasons could be quarantined at home upon their return - if hotel quarantine would be adverse to their health.
But in the case of Ulverstone resident Ashley Fuller, if brain surgery doesn't warrant compassionate grounds for self-isolating from home - what does? For anyone who isn't recovering from brain surgery, navigating the system for exemptions might still be challenging. Particularly when it suddenly changed to the new G2G Pass system.
As of July 16, less than a quarter of applications for essential traveller status in Tasmania had been approved, with only 20 per cent granted on compassionate grounds.
The State Controller has also been clear in stating that exemptions are now unlikely to be approved when applicants have spent time in a high-risk location.
We should all take some comfort from this hard-line stance.
However, where do we draw the line between conformity and compassion?