Hazzard: regional quarantine not for NSW

Hazzard: regional quarantine not for NSW

Following yesterday's proposal from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to move quarantine services to regional mining camps, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard has rejected a push to do the same in his state.

Speaking to ABC News Hazzard said NSW's current system is working well and is able to cope with the large number of returning overseas travellers the state receives every day.

"New South Wales has taken by far the majority of people coming back into our hotel quarantine system," Hazzard told ABC News.

"So it will be very challenging to find a regional area that can cope with that.

"Secondly, our public health officialsindicated that [regional quarantine] would create further risks for us, particularly in transporting people on busses."

Despite his rejection of the push for regional quarantine in NSW, Hazzard welcomes the proposal made by other states.

"We're not saying to Queensland don't do it that's their call, we're not saying to WA don't do it that's their call, they have mining camps and other areas that might work for them," Hazzard said.

"All of our systems around the country are based on people they're human systems, so it's a constant matter to try and find any little holes where there might be a hole.

"We've had over 115,000 people pass through the Sydney quarantine system, and I think we've maybe had three relatively small issued. So that's a very small number in a very, very big system."

NSW recorded zero new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 today for the second day in a row.

However, Premier Gladys Berejiklian was disappointed with the number of tests done yesterday, and has called upon those in the state to get testing numbers up so restrictions can be eased.

"I want to stress to the community that relief is on its way so long as we maintain low or zero numbers of cases on a daily basis and also so long as we get those testing rates high," Berejiklian said.

Updated at 12.41pm AEDT on 15 January.

 

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