SES called in to do ACT quarantine compliance checks

ACT SES volunteers will help the ACT Policing COVID-19 Taskforce to contact all people in quarantine. Picture: Elesa Kurtz
ACT SES volunteers will help the ACT Policing COVID-19 Taskforce to contact all people in quarantine. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

The ACT State Emergency Service volunteers have been recruited to help ACT Policing's COVID-19 taskforce check on people in home and hotel quarantine.

It comes as the territory recorded another day of no new COVID-19 cases on Sunday from 1354 tests in the past 24 hours.

Over the coming days, people in quarantine will receive a text message asking them to call the police assistance line on 131 444.

When they call back, an ACTSES volunteer will ask people to verify their details and quarantine requirements.

Detective Superintendent Rohan Smith said people in quarantine should expect to be contacted at least once during their quarantine period.

"At the moment there are more than 2800 people in quarantine and in the past few weeks police have been conducting approximately 1500 compliance checks weekly," Detective Superintendent Smith said.

"We will continue to conduct checks at houses and with ACTSES support we now have the opportunity to speak with people, which will be a significant support to anyone who is in quarantine."

Superintendent Smith said some people would receive multiple checks if police identified a potential risk including welfare support.

"ACT Policing and the ACT Emergency Services Agency have a strong record of working together during emergencies to ensure that the Canberra community is safe, supported and informed. We're thankful for ACTSES volunteers supporting our Taskforce for the COVID-19 response," he said.

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ACT residents returning to the territory from a COVID-19 affected areas must declare their travel with ACT Health and quarantine at home for 14 days.

Non-residents who have been to an affected area in the past 14 days need an exemption from ACT Health to enter the ACT and must also quarantine for 14 days on arrival. People who break the health direction face fines of up to $8000.

COVID-19 affected areas include Greater Brisbane, Greater Sydney, the NSW Central Coast and Wollongong.

ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said she would reassess the situation in Brisbane on Monday and provide further advice on travel and quarantine requirements, but so far the news was looking promising.

"I would like to acknowledge all those who have been impacted by the Greater Brisbane public health direction to quarantine and thank everyone for their cooperation and patience during this time," Dr Coleman said.

Dr Coleman praised Canberrans for the higher turnout for COVID-19 testing on Saturday.

"Test numbers for the 9 January, 2021 were over 1,300 and I thank everyone who has responded to our advice to be tested over the last few weeks," she said.

"Also, a big shout out to our staff who are working at the testing clinics and in the pathology lab."

This story SES called in to do quarantine compliance checks first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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