Two men who have recently returned to Tasmania from Queensland have been apprehended by police in two separate cases of coronavirus quarantine being ignored.
In a statement, Tasmania Police said they had responded to “two incidents of non-compliance at Hobart quarantine hotels this weekend”.
Police said they were contacted by security personnel at a Hobart hotel on Saturday afternoon after a 48-year-old man, who had recently returned from Queensland and was required to complete 14 days’ hotel quarantine, “attempted to leave the hotel premises contrary to his formal direction”.
The man, from Hobart’s northern suburb of Glenorchy, was “apprehended at the time by security at the hotel and received an infringement notice from police”, they said.
Last night, police were called by security of another hotel and “advised a 37-year-old man, who had recently returned from Queensland, who was required to complete mandatory hotel quarantine, was found to have left the premises”, police said.
Police arrested the man at his home in Claremont later in the evening. He was charged with coronavirus-related offences and bailed to complete the remainder of his quarantine at the hotel as required, police said.
There was “no indication that any members of the Tasmanian community were at risk during either incident”, police said.
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Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Higgins said it was “selfish and unacceptable that people think that they do not have to follow the rules that are in place”.
“These rules are in place to keep our community safe,” he said.
“If you have been interstate there is a chance you have been exposed to the virus.
“We need to make sure that anyone coming to our state is doing so safely, protecting our community and way of life.”
“Two weeks of personal inconvenience pales in comparison to the benefit of protecting the lives of 500,000 plus Tasmanians.”
Currently, all non-essential travellers to the state are required to quarantine for 14 days — either at home or in a government quarantine hotel.
Any Tasmanian residents returning home from Victoria are required to enter hotel quarantine if they do not have an exemption.
Tasmania has had 227 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths.