Labor has highlighted what it says are loopholes in Tasmania’s border controls after several people revealed they have not been contacted while in home quarantine.
Sonia Wickham arrived in Launceston from New South Wales on July 31 and said the information pack she received said she would be contacted on day five or day 12 but she heard nothing.
“I was strictly following the protocols and stayed in a cabin at Hadspen and had food and groceries delivered with no contact whatsoever with anyone,” Ms Wickham, 48, said.
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“But for some people, they could go stir crazy over two weeks not doing what they want to do and what they are used to doing.
“I wonder how many of them break quarantine and I wonder if they understand the rules or feel they can get away with breaking quarantine if they are going bonkers.
“In comparison, my sister who arrived earlier got contacted quite a few times.”
Ms Wickham said she also had to demand a COVID-19 test because she was worried about visiting her elderly relative in the Launceston General Hospital with pneumonia.
She said she wore a mask on the taxi trip to the place where she was staying and for her test.
Labor leader Rebecca White raised the matter in Parliament and said it was far from an isolated incident.
She asked Premier Peter Gutwein to ensure people were checked at least once during home quarantine.
“We have heard similar stories from multiple people who were not visited during their home quarantine period,” Ms White said.
“How did this failure happen? Will you commit to making sure that people in home quarantine are checked at least once?”
Mr Gutwein said under the present system there were supposed to be regular contacts and visits.
“There is also a text system that is established to remind people, if they are in home quarantine, on the fifth and the 12th day, I think, in terms of testing,” he said.
Mr Gutwein took Ms White to task for not raising the cases with him.
“If you are so concerned, and if you were aware, why did you not bring it to our attention at the earliest opportunity?
“Could I ask you, in all seriousness, to please send me that email as quickly as you can, so that we can look into these issues? I am truly staggered that she would not, as a matter of urgency, have forwarded that matter on.”
State Controller and Police Commissioner Darren Hine said people at highest risk were placed in hotel quarantine but those coming from a non-hotspot were allowed to quarantine at home.
“They can, and should expect a check from Tasmania police or fire or SES volunteers,” Commissioner Hine said. “We can’t be everywhere. There are over 1300 people in home quarantine and 200 were checked in the last 24 hours.”
Ms White said by failing to address loopholes, Tasmanians were being put at risk.