Premier Peter Gutwein has backed the use of hotels for the quarantining of arrivals into the state but the Greens say a more strategic and sustainable solution needed to be found.
When asked if the state should consider investing in a designated quarantine facility, Mr Gutwein said to date quarantine hotels had served the state well.
“We will continue, obviously, to review those operations,” he said.
“What we would hope over time is we would see a decrease in the number of people needing to quarantine in those hotels.”
Mr Gutwein said in Tasmania, unlike other jurisdictions, quarantine hotels were not also being used by paying guests.
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He confirmed two commercial events, Psychic Expos held at Devonport and Hobart quarantine hotels, had been allowed to go ahead because the organisers had engaged with public health, there had been a COVID-safety plan in place and there had been no mixing between any person attending the event and the people in quarantine.
“As long as there is separation, I think that’s the key thing,” Mr Gutwein said.
But Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said consideration of a designated quarantine facility was warranted.
“The Greens believe it has real potential to work better than the hotel model, which as we’ve seen from Victoria has real risks associated with it,” Ms O’Connor said.
“It could look like the former Brighton Army Camp or Pontville Detention Centre.
“Such a facility could be comfortable, have good amenities and recreational facilities, secure, and with plenty of wrap around supports.”
Ms O’Connor said while hotel quarantine had been a good interim solution and it had provided income for a sector hit hard by the pandemic, it was not a long-term solution.
“The experts warn us the coronavirus will be with us for the foreseeable future and that this pandemic is unlikely to be the last,” she said.
“A more strategic, sustainable quarantine solution needs to be found.”