Residents of southern Tasmania enter snap three-day coronavirus lockdown

Premier Peter Gutwein blamed the snap lockdown on a 31-year-old COVID-positive man not co-operating with authorities.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein. Source: AAP

Southern Tasmania, including the state’s capital Hobart, has entered a snap three-day lockdown.

The restrictions came into effect at 6pm on Friday and will be in force for three days.

The snap lockdown applies to the Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman Peninsula local government areas. The rest of Tasmania is not affected.

It is mandatory for anyone over the age of 12 to wear a mask in public, and there are only five permitted reasons for people in southern Tasmania to leave their homes, including shopping for essential needs, exercising within five kilometres of their property, and medical appointments.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said the lockdown was due to a 31-year-old COVID-positive man who had left hotel quarantine earlier this week not co-operating with authorities, which had led to inconsistencies in his movements.

“To be frank, we are not certain if we are being told the truth or not, which is why we’ve taken this action,” Mr Gutwein said on Friday.

“It is very disappointing the circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment.”

Fountainside medi-hotel, where the COVID-positive man is being held.
Source: Sarah Maunder

On Monday, the man flew into Hobart from Melbourne without a valid entry pass.

The man was directed to hotel quarantine that evening, but the next day he was found at a northern Hobart address.

The man then tested positive for COVID-19, and is currently at the Fountainside medi-hotel in Hobart's CBD.

On Thursday, public health authorities confirmed the man had visited a Woolworths in Bridgewater between 3:30pm and 4:00pm.

Tasmanian Public Health Director Dr Mark Veitch said the state had always been ready to go into a short, sharp lockdown.

“At this moment we are at the highest risk of having COVID transmission in our state at any time this year,” he said.

A primary contact of the COVID-positive man breached home quarantine on Thursday. That man is now in hotel quarantine.

Extra testing and vaccination clinics have now been rolled out in Hobart's northern suburbs, where rates are lagging.

Tasmania has just one other active case, a 15-year-old boy who flouted home quarantine rules in Launceston earlier this month.

On the back of tough border measures, the state has recorded just three cases this year.

With AAP.

Published 15 October 2021 at 3:46pm, updated 16 October 2021 at 6:21am
By Sarah Maunder
Source: SBS News