Supporting Tasmanian quarantine hotel workers to keep our community safe

Peter Gutwein,Premier

Protecting the health and safety of Tasmanians has been our number one priority throughout COVID-19, and it remains our absolute priority as we prepare to accept a flight of returning Australians from overseas this morning.

We are taking every precaution in managing and overseeing the arrival, transportation and accommodation of these returning Australians, informed by the learnings of other states and the various reviews.

It’s important that our hotel quarantine workers are adequately supported financially to work only at the specific hotel and not in other settings while they are involved in the international hotel quarantine effort.

This will be the Government’s expectation and we will support workers through measures such as:

  • Supplementing a worker’s part-time rate to a full-time rate, reducing their need for a second job while they are involved in the international hotel quarantine effort.
  • Paying workers an additional payment in recognition of the unique role they are fulfilling and to follow risk reduction measures recommended by Public Health when not working in the hotel.

Those measures include avoiding spending time in settings where there are vulnerable people, such as aged care and healthcare facilities, and avoiding larger social gatherings where possible.

We will do our bit to help stranded Australians reunite with their families and loved ones, but we will not jeopardise the health and safety of our workers and other Tasmanians.

Under the agreement with the Australian Government, all travellers will be required to undergo a test and return a negative result before getting on the plane to travel to Tasmania. This will decrease the risk of positive cases in quarantine.

On arrival at the airport today each guest will be provided with a surgical mask, which they must keep on until they arrive in their quarantine hotel room. Tasmania Police will escort guests from the border entry point, to the bus, and Tasmania Police will provide an escort for the bus for the duration of the trip. All authorities will have the appropriate PPE, including Tasmania Police, Biosecurity Tasmania and health officials.

ADF, Tasmania Police and private security personnel will deliver 24/7 security services at the quarantine facilities, under the direction of Tasmania Police, which will have a strong presence at the hotel.

Comprehensive cleaning will also be undertaken at hotels and on buses. All guests will be regularly and routinely tested during the 14 days’ quarantine, and will only be allowed into the community on returning a negative test, consistent with AHPPC advice and protocols.

I’d like to thank all our authorities who have been involved in planning for today’s flight arrival, including the ADF personnel who have been in our state since Monday.

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