Police in Tasmania probe quarantine breach

Peter Gutwein says a report on how an infected man left quarantine in Hobart will be made public.
Peter Gutwein says a report on how an infected man left quarantine in Hobart will be made public.

Police in Tasmania are probing claims by a coronavirus-infected NSW man, whose hotel quarantine breach sparked a lockdown, that he "walked out the door".

No cases have been recorded since the 31-year-old escaped the Hobart Travelodge early last week and spent about 18 hours in the community.

It sparked a three-day lockdown across the state's south, including Hobart, which was lifted at 6pm on Monday.

The man, who arrived without a valid border pass and was told to quarantine, apologised during a Channel 7 interview on Tuesday, claiming he didn't escape but simply walked out.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said the circumstances of the breach are subject to a police investigation.

"I expect to have a report from the state controller in coming days and we'll release that information when it comes to hand," he said on Wednesday.

Donna Adams, acting deputy commissioner of Tasmania Police, said two scenarios will be examined, that the man left the hotel out a window or via a door.

"The veracity of the claims made by the positive case will be assessed by Tasmania Police," Ms Adams said.

She said security guards at hotel quarantine facilities don't necessarily have the power to physically detain someone who attempts to leave.

"The expectation would be that security call police. Police are well trained to deal with difficult and non-compliant people," she said.

"The last thing we want is untrained security guards to be grappling with someone seeking to leave a facility."

Of the 169 contacts of the man, 167 have tested negative and two results are pending.

Health workers, meanwhile, have been told they face the sack if they aren't vaccinated, or don't sign up for a jab, ahead of a looming October 31 deadline.

Health Department boss Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said about 87 per cent of the state's roughly 16,000-strong health workforce are fully vaccinated.

"For those that refuse to vaccinate and do not have an exemption ... you will no longer be paid," she said.

"I will be pursuing termination action ... for each and every individual."

Ms Morgan-Wicks believes the health system will cope with laying off staff, saying potentially furloughing non-vaccinated workers during an outbreak posed a greater risk.

As of Wednesday, more than 70 per cent of Tasmanians over 16 are fully vaccinated.

Mr Gutwein says Tasmania is on track to pass the target of 90 per cent by December 1, ahead of a planned reopening by Christmas.

He said Tasmania's reopening plan, previously flagged to be unveiled this week, would be detailed on Friday.

He announced support would be provided to businesses impacted by the snap restrictions.

Australian Associated Press