Positive Covid case in Tasmania

Peter Gutwein,Premier

The health and safety of Tasmanians remains our number one priority as we continue to manage the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

I can confirm a 31 year old New South Wales man who arrived in Tasmania via Melbourne to Hobart Airport on Monday evening – despite his Good to Go (G2G) pass having been refused on two occasions– has today tested positive for COVID-19.

The man could not be immediately returned to Melbourne and was therefore placed into hotel quarantine. He was found to have left quarantine following a welfare check, upon which Tasmania Police were immediately notified and they located the man at 4.45pm yesterday at an address in Hobart’s outer northern suburbs.

At a time when the vast majority of Tasmanians are doing the right thing, I cannot stress how deeply disappointing it is for someone to blatantly ignore the rules and put others at risk in this way.

The man will be fined over $3000 for breaching hotel quarantine and arriving in Tasmania without a valid G2G pass, and Public Health are currently undertaking extensive contact tracing to identify potential exposure sites, with an update to be provided later today.

This is yet another stark reminder that the pandemic is not over and the risk remains, and we must continue to do everything possible to help keep the Tasmanian community safe.

From 12.01am tonight, all of Victoria will be classified as high-risk level 1. This means that all of NSW, Victoria, and the ACT are now classified as high-risk Level 1,.

Additionally, we will not be permitting travel to Tasmania from nine Victorian local government areas with the highest prevalence of active cases.

These LGAs are Hume, Whittlesea, Melton, Brimbank, Moreland, Wyndham, Greater Dandenong, Casey, and Maribyrnong.

Travellers who have been in Victoria, not in any of these nine LGAs in the 14 days before their proposed travel, must apply to enter Tasmania and if approved, quarantine and other conditions apply.

Tasmanian residents, if approved to enter, may be eligible to undertake their 14 days quarantine at their home or a suitable premises subject to providing a negative test within 72 hours prior to departure, and being fully vaccinated. If they don’t meet the criteria, they will be required to quarantine in Government-designated accommodation where fees can apply.

These changes are necessary to safely balance the ability for Tasmanian residents to be able to return to Tasmania from high-risk areas, while managing the risk to the wider community.

As we have said, vaccination continues to be the best way to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19, and our Spring into Summer campaign continues to progress well, with over 80 per cent of people aged 16 and over having had a first dose of the vaccine, and more than 65 per cent fully vaccinated.

This is good news, but with the threat of COVID-19 remaining ever-present, as we have seen today, our message remains. Don’t wait. Vaccinate.

And while we will have Tasmanian specific modelling finalised next week to have a full picture of the risks posed to our State when we relax borders at the 90 per cent full vaccination mark, I am confident, based on scenarios in other jurisdictions, that the higher vaccination rate puts our State in a safer position.

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