Everyone arriving in Tasmania, whether by sea or air, should be subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing says Federal Labor Member for Lyons, Brian Mitchell MP.
“This is a no-brainer,” Mr Mitchell says.
“Test everyone who arrives, no exceptions. Tasmanians coming home, everyone. Politicians coming back from Canberra - test us. Health workers - test them. Truckies - test them. There should be temperature checks and swabbing stations at every point of entry.”
Mr Mitchell says with the exception of the coronavirus case that has emerged in hotel quarantine, Tasmania remains COVID-19 free and we should be doing everything we can to keep it that way.
“Tasmanians have done a terrific job keeping this virus out of the state and they don’t want to be let down by seeing it come in now,” Mr Mitchell says.
“Test results take between one and three days so if someone at the border is found to be positive, we can get onto it ASAP and only have three days of contact tracing to do, instead of the week or more that would have to be traced after someone exhibits symptoms. Every extra day of tracing means scores more possible contacts.
“Now, I know testing isn’t foolproof because it can take time for people who carry the virus to test positive, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
“The point should be hammered home that a negative test result is not a licence to party - all the other quarantine and self-isolation measures should remain in place for 14 days.”
Mr Mitchell says returning Tasmanians in self-isolation should be encouraged to wear masks whenever possible for at least 14 days.
“What is occurring in Victoria and NSW is a big wake-up call. This thing is far from over and we must continue to look out for each other by continuing to keep our distance, do the elbow knock rather than shake hands, and sanitise and wash our hands regularly."