Australia's island state records zero COVID-19 case on 1st day of snap lockdown

2021-10-16 04:36:00 GMT2021-10-16 12:36:00(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

SYDNEY, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Australia's island state of Tasmania recorded no new local COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the first day after parts of the state entered a three-day snap lockdown since 6 p.m. local time on Friday.

Despite the positive sign, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein told Saturday's press conference that the next 48 hours remain critical for southern region of the state to get on top of the transmission.

Under the restrictions, residents in the southern parts of the state including capital city Hobart, must stay at home unless very limited reasons such as shopping for urgent household supplies within 5 km of home -- only one person from a household at any one time, attending medical or health care appointments, being a permitted worker, or caring for a vulnerable person or for other compassionate reasons.

Gutwein said the aim of the authorities is to make the lockdown "short and sharp", and committed grants to support low income, casual and self-employed workers who have lost income due to an inability to work caused by the lockdown.

The snap lockdown came after a COVID-positive traveller from the state of New South Wales entered Tasmania without valid border pass and breached the hotel quarantine rules.

Gutwein said he asked Tasmania Police to "consider all avenues" for increasing the punishment on the man who has been fined 3,000 Australian dollars (about 2,225 U.S. dollars) for the breaches.

"I have expressed to Tasmania Police that the sum of the fine that this individual has received at the moment simply doesn't appear to be in line with the crime," Gutwein said.

"This is a breach that has brought southern Tasmania to a standstill and I have requested that they consider what other action can be taken against this person." Enditem