Fly-in, fly-out workers say the state government has fed them false hope by indicating they would be free to reenter Tasmania from non-hotspot zones without having to quarantine upon arrival.
Emails from the government’s Essential Traveller service to Tasmanian FIFO workers have shown that there is a requirement for them still to enter quarantine if they have spent less than 14 days in a non-COVID-affected part of Australia.
Somerset man Nathan Boag, who is working at a mine in Far North Queensland, said he had departed Tasmania on September 9 and was returning to the state tomorrow (September 23). However, he said he was still told he would be ineligible for the new exemption, which came into effect yesterday.
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“We had to cancel our current quarantine exemption to be able to apply for the exemption to not have to quarantine. The response I got was … ‘You haven’t been gone 14 days’,” Mr Boag said. “But all the evidence has been clearly supplied.”
“Can these people not do simple maths? It’s quite concerning.
“It’s quite frustrating just when you think you can breathe and you’ve got the weight off your shoulders and then this happens.
“It’s upset a lot of people.”
Deputy Opposition Leader Michelle O’Byrne raised the matter in State Parliament this morning.
While Mr Gutwein admitted he wasn’t aware of the 14-day requirement, he said he would consult Public Health.
About 12.30pm, the government issued a statement in which a spokesperson said the State Control Centre had initially sought to put in place a 14-day “threshold” for FIFO workers returning to Tasmania from low-risk jurisdictions.
But the spokesperson said this had now been reduced to seven days “following discussions with Public Health”.
“The small number of people who have been declined exemption since yesterday will be reassessed as to whether they fall into the seven day definition,” they said.
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