State Government must come clean on COVID-19 quarantine security breaches: SA-BEST

13 September 2020

SA-BEST today called on the State Government to reveal the nature of more than 60 COVID-19 security breaches committed by security guards employed to guard nominated hotels in Adelaide’s CBD accommodating returned international travellers who were being quarantined for 14 days. 

The revelation 62 breaches had been committed follows questioning in State Parliament by SA-BEST MLC and Budget and Finance spokesperson, Frank Pangallo, in early July.

The government only replied to Frank’s questions this week – and only revealed 22 breaches had been committed from the start of the lockdown up to 10 July. 

The government yesterday admitted that a further 40 breaches had been committed from 10 July to last week. 

“The State Government must come clean and tell the people of South Australia not only the nature of the breaches, but why it chose to withhold such important information from them,” Frank said. 

“It also has a responsibility to reveal how the breaches occurred,” he said. 

“We are extremely disappointed the government has been so secretive by not telling the public the extent of the quarantine breaches. 

“Prior to my questioning in early July, the community was led to believe there had only been one or two indiscretions by security guards. Now we know otherwise! 

“It begs the question - why didn’t the government tell us about the breaches? What are they hiding? 

“The government is saying the breaches of infection control guidelines are ‘low risk’ – says who? 

“Was it because they weren’t wearing masks? Did they have unauthorised contact with people being quarantined or weren’t carry out proper hygiene procedures? 

“We don’t know because the government isn’t telling us.” 

SA-BEST Health spokesperson, Connie Bonaros, said it was disappointing the government only revealed the breaches following probing by SA-BEST. 

“As a community, we are extremely lucky this high number of quarantine breaches didn’t result in a more serious public health outcome,” Connie said. 

“We will ask more questions of the government about these breaches and whether any action has been taken against the security company,” she said. 

“It is just as well that police are there watching over the private security guards otherwise who knows what could have happened.”

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