UK Covid repats jet in
PROTOCOLS will be “very strict” for 174 Australians returning from the UK who have arrived in Tasmania to begin their two-week quarantine.
The flight arrived at Hobart International Airport last night, with the people onboard moved to the Ibis Hotel.
Premier Peter Gutwein said the move would free up quarantine space for Afghani people in other jurisdictions, after the Taliban crisis in Kabul.
Mr Gutwein said the arrivals were required to have had two negative Covid tests before flying and would be tested during their time in quarantine.
A PLANE-load of 174 Australians returning from the UK has arrived in Tasmania in what Premier Peter Gutwein describes as a “sensible” and “strict” operation.
The flight arrived at Hobart International Airport on Sunday night, with the people onboard moved to the Ibis Hotel to begin their two-week quarantine stint.
Mr Gutwein said the move would free up quarantine space for Afghani people in other jurisdictions, following the Taliban crisis in Kabul.
“I think anybody that saw unfortunately people clinging to the underbelly of planes, falling hundreds of metres and crashing to earth a couple of weeks ago, and saw the extent of the violence that was occurring in Kabul, would be of the view that we should be doing our best to get as many people as we can out of that circumstance as possible,” he said. “I think it’s a sensible way through this.”
Mr Gutwein said protocols for the new arrivals were “very strict”.
“This includes being required to have had two negative Covid tests before flying,” he said.
“They’ll also be subject to testing throughout their quarantine period and will only reenter the community based on completing 14-day quarantine and having negative tests on that journey.”
Twenty-eight extra domestic quarantine rooms have become available in Tasmania in recent days, with another 100 rooms opening soon.
The Premier said the state had a strong record with bringing in seasonal workers, interstate travellers and a repat flight late last year.
He said all departmental staff and hotel security transport workers involved in the latest flight had been vaccinated.
“All onsite staff remain subject to daily saliva testing and regular PCR testing for Covid-19,” he said.
But Mr Gutwein warned “up to a handful” of positive Covid-19 cases could emerge after the flight.
“Tasmanians need to ready themselves for that, but (the arrivals) will be in quarantine and they will be appropriately managed.”
He still plans to begin easing restrictions once 80 per cent of people are vaccinated, encouraging as many Tasmanians as possible to get the jab.
He said a vaccine passport would only be considered once “every Tasmanian who’s eligible” had been afforded the opportunity to get immunised.
“If you’re prepared to get vaccinated and somebody else isn’t, then there should be a concession,” he said.