Gladys Berejiklian confirms she breached COVID-19 test isolation rules

News Corp Australia
VideoNSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is accused of violating pandemic rules after she admitted she didn’t isolate after undergoing a COVID test

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confessed she did not isolate while waiting for her COVID-19 test result on Tuesday last week.

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 she would consider changing the NSW Health guidelines which state anyone who has been tested must self-isolate until they receive the result.

"Absolutely not. Why would I change the guidelines?" Ms 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 refused to accept Ms Berejiklian excuses, noting 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.

Ms Berejiklian also appeared on the Today show on Tuesday morning where she confessed to allowing people in and out of her office during the hour and a half spent waiting for her result.

"In hindsight I should have closed my door and not had anything to do with anybody for 90 minutes but I didn’t because it all happened so fast and it was budget day," she said.

"I thought I was doing the right thing because I was being overly cautious.

"I can’t tell you what I did in that time because I can’t remember but I’m sure I did leave my door open so people could come in and out."

Ms Berejiklian was forced to defend herself after she came under fire from the Opposition for undermining the public health guidelines which state anyone who receives a test for COVID-19 must isolated until they receive their negative result.

The Premier had previously remained tight-lipped about whether or not she continued to work. But she told Karl Stefanovic she couldn’t recall how many meetings she had that day or how many people - if any - came in and out of her office.

"They are the facts," she said.

Speaking to 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Tuesday morning, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the Premer had a strained voice from parliament and had a "rapid test" where the result was returned to her within two hours.

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."

The Daily Telegraph reports that on the day of the test Ms Berejiklian attended Question Time which runs from 2.15pm to 3pm. Hansard records show the Premier then voted in parliament shortly after 5.30pm.

She then fronted the media the following day with a noticeably croaky voice, where told reporters she had received a negative COVID-19 test overnight.

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