Coronavirus crisis: Arrivals into WA from Tasmania urged to get tested after NSW traveller sparks lockdown

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Peter LawThe West Australian
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VideoSouthern Tasmania to enter three-day snap lockdown

Recent arrivals into WA from Tasmania are being urged to get tested for COVID-19 after Hobart and southern Tasmania were forced into a snap three-day lockdown.

The stay at home orders, starting at 6pm Friday evening, were issued after a coronavirus-infected NSW man entered Tasmania illegally and escaped hotel quarantine.

WA classifies Tasmania — which has a hard border with NSW and Victoria — as “very low risk”, allowing quarantine-free travel from the island State.

Authorities in Tasmania said it was likely the man in his 30s arrived without a valid border pass on a flight via Melbourne on Monday night and spent 18 hours in the community.

It was revealed on Thursday night the man went to a Woolworths in the suburb of Bridgewater on Tuesday afternoon, something he didn’t tell authorities.

The supermarket is among a list of public exposure sites released by the Tasmanian Government.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein.
Camera IconTasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein. Credit: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Anyone who visited those venues at the specified and has since travelled to WA is required to self-quarantine for 14 days and get tested within 48 hours and at day 12.

“Further, any travellers who departed Tasmania on or after Monday, 11 October 2021 should get tested if they develop any symptoms that may be related to COVID-19,” WA Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson said.

“Given what’s we’re seeing in other states, this action is to prevent any spread of the virus or community transmission in Western Australia.

“For now, given there are no cases of community transmission, Tasmania will remain as a very low risk state.

“As always, we will continue to monitor the situation very closely and issue updated health advice if required.”

Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein said he did not want his State to be like Sydney or Melbourne, “who acted too late in both instances when dealing with Delta”.

“To be frank, we are not certain if we are being told the truth or not, which is why we’ve taken this action,” Mr Gutwein said.

“It is very disappointing the circumstances we find ourselves in.”

Under the restrictions, people can only leave their homes for five reasons, including shopping for essential supplies, while many businesses will be forced to shut their doors.

Masks are mandatory when outdoors, and there is a 5km radius for exercise.

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