A member of the crew of a bulk carrier was arrested and charged after allegedly swimming ashore in a Western Australian port with Prime Minister Mark McGowan, calling the incident “unusual”.
Authorities allege that the 37-year-old Vietnamese national jumped into the water on Saturday two days after the bulk carrier docked in the port of Albany.
Shipping crew cannot enter WA land under emergency handling coronavirus quarantine instructions.
WA police have said the man was found around 7 p.m. Saturday at an Albany backpacker hostel before being quarantined and testing negative for Covid. McGowan said the man never posed a risk of spreading the virus in the community.
“This is an unusual case,” the prime minister told reporters on Sunday, as WA recorded no new virus cases inside or outside the hotel’s quarantine. “The individual in question jumped from the boat into the water and swam ashore. It’s hard to stop that. “
McGowan rejected suggestions that there should be a ban on marine vessels that could not guarantee that the crew would strictly follow the state’s coronavirus protocols.
“We have had thousands, thousands and thousands of ships arriving in Western Australia over the course of the last year while we deal with Covid,” he said. “This is the only time I notice someone jumping out of a boat into the water and swimming ashore. Clearly, that wasn’t something anyone would have predicted. “
The Vietnamese citizen has been charged with failing to comply with an instruction and was due to appear in Perth magistrates court on Sunday.
McGowan also cracked down on rumors that the state could immediately reopen the border to people from Queensland, which did not record any new community cases over the weekend as Brisbane continued with a three-day shutdown.
Queensland authorities hope that a quarantined Brisbane hotel cleaner has not exposed the community to the highly contagious UK variant. McGowan said the weekend’s outcome “bodes well for the future,” but that there were no plans for an immediate end to the hard border.
“I can’t make that commitment,” he said. “Clearly, they have had to have a fairly large testing regimen. But we are not in the moment to say that we would open up to Queensland. That would be subject to health advice. “
WA has traditionally opted for a community broadcast “buffer period” of 28 days before re-announcing the reopening of the border to Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
Queensland has yet to find a locally acquired case derived from the infected cleanser, but McGowan wants to make sure no undetected viruses are circulating.
Separately, a Perth man was due to appear in court on Sunday after allegedly abusing hospital staff during his coronavirus test on the 11th. The 31-year-old from Wembley Downs had self-isolated after flying in from Victoria on the 29th. from December.
On Saturday, the man attended a Midland hospital where he allegedly removed his mask and became aggressive and abusive to staff. He was arrested and later charged with failing to comply with a health order and other crimes.