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Gutwein Must Fix Tasmanian Arrival Card Process

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Tags: Health, COVID-19

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

Protecting Tasmanians from the risk of all COVID-19-infected travellers is essential to slowing the spread of the virus in our community. A critical mitigation tool is a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals to Tasmania – international and interstate visitors, and locals returning home.

The government has not yet adopted this measure and has instead put in place a Tasmanian Arrival Card, in an attempt to stem COVID-19-infected arrivals.

We are concerned a lack of resourcing and stringent tracking processes are undermining this protective measure.

Incoming travellers are directed to fill out a Tasmanian Arrival Card, but it appears this is being treated as a voluntary process.

The Greens were contacted by a woman arriving home from overseas, who was asked to fill in a card but without direction to do this crowded next to four passengers.

We were also advised that another passenger with bags of duty free - clearly an international arrival - pushed past ignoring the direction.

There are further reports of travellers landing yesterday from a non-English speaking country, with no support to fill out the form in English.

104 people have completed the Tasmanian Arrival Card, but clearly more than this number have arrived and not participated in this mandatory reporting.

Although it is an offence for people not to comply with the self-isolation order, without stringent and reliable tracking of people or enforcement of non-compliance this is not meaningful.

The Premier must ensure Biosecurity Tasmania is provided with all the resources and support it needs to ensure arrivals are comprehensively tracked. We are already acting too slowly, and we certainly can’t afford to let such an important protective measure be so ineffectual.