Tue, 24 Nov, 2020

Gladys Berejiklian urged to pay fine over failing to isolate after COVID test

Gladys Berejiklian urged to pay fine over failing to isolate after COVID test

NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay has urged Gladys Berejiklian to pay a fine after she admitted to breaching public health orders.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if she voluntarily paid the fine,” Ms McKay told reporters.

“The Premier did not follow the health advice and she tried to worm her way out of it, but it’s black and white.

“What I’ve heard today is too many excuses.”

On Tuesday, the NSW Premier admitted to not isolating after taking a COVID-19 test.

NSW Police issued a statement, saying whether Berejiklian is penalised is up to the state’s health department.

In a heated interview with ABC’s Lisa Millar, the Premier agreed she “should have closed her door” at state parliament but “she didn’t” before claiming she only had a test because she was tired and losing her voice.

“I didn’t have symptoms,” the Premier said.

“But having said that, I’m judged accordingly and I have to accept that, and I should have probably done that (closed the door and isolated).”

Ms Millar asked the Premier whether NSW should change their guidelines which says anyone who is awaiting the result of their test should self-isolate until they receive them.

“Absolutely not. Why would I change the guidelines?” Berejiklian said.

“Because you're not following them?” Ms Millar replied.

The Premier went on to claim that she didn’t have any symptoms and had simply lost her voice.

“But you took a test and didn't self-isolate, and the guidelines say if you take a test you have to isolate,” Ms Millar probed.

“I accept that,” the Premier said.

“So you didn't follow your own guidelines. You do accept that you didn’t follow your own guidelines?” the ABC host continued.

Ms Millar was not accepting any excuses, pointing out that there was “no such thing” as a precautionary COVID test.

“But there isn't such a thing as a precautionary COVID-19 test, is there? They’re all precautionary?” she said.

Earlier, Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres defended the Premier, claiming she had not shown any symptoms and had “done the right thing”, he told ABC’s Hamish McDonald.

“The key point here is she has gone and taken a precautionary test, but she’s not exhibiting any symptoms. I don’t think she’s put anyone at risk here,” he said.

A statement from the Premier’s office said: “At no stage did the Premier have COVID-19 symptoms and therefore did not require a test.

“However, as the Premier began losing her voice, she took a precautionary test.

“Given her role, the test was administered late in the afternoon in her office. A rapid negative result was returned in around two hours.”

According to the Daily Telegraph, Berejiklian attended question time on the day of her test, which ran from 2:15 pm to 3pm.

She then fronted the media the next day with a noticeably croaky voice and told reporters she received a negative COVID-19 result overnight.

NSW marked 17 straight days of no community transmission on Tuesday, while six infections were diagnosed in hotel quarantine.