Man who escaped quarantine has Delta strain; being ‘uncooperative’


A dozen council areas in Southern Tasmania will enter a snap three-day lockdown from 6pm tonight, Premier Peter Gutwein has announced. FOLLOW LIVE >>

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SOUTHERN Tasmania will enter a three-day lockdown from 6pm tonight, Premier Peter Gutwein has announced.

Mr Gutwein said the man who escaped hotel quarantine had not been cooperative, leading to inconsistencies in his movements.

It has been confirmed that the Covid-positive man has the Delta strain of the virus.

>> EXPLAINED: What you can and can’t do in Tassie’s 3-day lockdown

The Premier said it took two days to find out that the man had been to Woolworths in Bridgewater.

A close contact of the man breached home quarantine and has been picked up by police.

The lockdown is due to end at 6pm on Monday night.

The lockdown applies to the Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman Peninsula local government areas.

The remainder of the state is not in lockdown.

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Public Health Director, Dr Mark Veitch, said he was disappointed to be sharing such news.

“However, as the Premier has said, we have always been ready to go into a short, sharp lockdown to mitigate risk to Tasmania,’’ he said.

“At this moment we are at the highest risk of having Covid transmission in our state at any time this year.”

The Covid-positive man travelled to Tasmania on Monday night and tested positive on Wednesday morning.

Dr Veitch said the man spent an estimated 18 hours in the community.

There are 39 primary close contacts who are at highest risk of catching Covid from the man. Seventeen of those people have tested negative, with the remaining 22 results expected to be returned today or tomorrow.

State health commander Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said people were allowed to leave home to be tested for Covid-19, or to be vaccinated against the virus.

Testing clinic opening hours extended

Opening hours for Hobart’s Macquarie Point testing clinic have been extended until 9pm Friday night.

There has been significant demand at the Gagebrook clinic today, with people at the back of the queue re-directed to Macquarie Point.

A third site will be stood up at the Derwent Entertainment Centre tomorrow.

Vaccination clinics will be open from 9am until 9pm during the lockdown period.

No visitors are permitted to enter hospitals in southern Tasmania except on compassionate grounds.

The same rule applies to aged care facilities.

The latest vaccination figures show 82.4 per cent of eligible Tasmanians have been vaccinated against Covid-19, while 67.6 per cent are fully vaccinated.

A joint statement from the Civil Contractors Federation, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Master Builders Association has acknowledged the difficult decision.

“This lockdown will come as a significant blow to all of the businesses we represent. We trust that financial support will be made available to any and all businesses impacted by this lockdown,’’ the statement read.

“The Tasmanian economy cannot sustain a prolonged lockdown and we are concerned that in other states “short, sharp lockdowns” have turned into months.

“Zero Covid is a thing of the past. Only today, NSW announced they will open to quarantine-free international travel from 1 November.”

“We note that both NSW and Victoria lifted their lockdowns after 70 per cent double vaccination rates and with Tasmania only days away from the same mark, we trust that our lockdown will not be extended beyond the promised three days.”

Originally published as Peter Gutwein delivers live Covid update as lockdown talks escalate



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