Tas premier backs Syd-Hob cancellation

Tasmania’s premier has backed a decision by event organisers to cancel the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, saying a second COVID-19 wave would devastate the island. 

The race was called off on Friday after the state government implemented 14-days’ quarantine for all Sydney arrivals following a northern suburbs outbreak. 

“I believe that the right decision has been made,” Mr Gutwein told reporters on Monday. 

“A second wave here in the state would have had devastating health and economic consequences here in Tasmania.”

About 100 boats were initially expected for the 76th edition of the bluewater classic, but numbers had dropped back to 75 amid the pandemic. 

Mr Gutwein apologised to tourism and hospitality businesses for the loss of Sydney bookings, but said a second wave would be far more damaging. 

Tasmania, which has no active coronavirus cases, has declared greater Sydney a medium-risk area.

About 50 travellers from the area are in government-run hotel quarantine, while 173 are undertaking isolation at “approved home settings”. 

Mr Gutwein urged people to report businesses that aren’t following restrictions or implementing sign-in procedures. 

Sydney’s northern beaches cluster has grown to 83 cases after 15 new infections with links to the outbreak were reported on Monday. 

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