Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Identified as Casual COVID-19 Contact

By Epoch Times Sydney Staff
Epoch Times Sydney Staff
Epoch Times Sydney Staff
December 15, 2021 Updated: December 15, 2021

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has travelled to Queensland for his re-election campaign after being identified as a casual COVID-19 contact.

Morrison was deemed a casual contact after attending the Kincoppal-Rose Bay graduation gala at Darling Harbour in Sydney last Friday.

He has returned two negative PCR tests, according to New South Wales (NSW) Health and the chief medical officer. Therefore, per Queensland rules, he is not required to isolate upon arrival into that state.

Morrison confirmed his Queensland trip during an interview with 4BC radio on Wednesday morning after the state’s authorities deemed it safe, saying being deemed a close or casual contact with a confirmed case was part of living with the virus.

“The virus is there. Omicron is in Australia. We’re going to live with this virus, not let it drag us back where we’ve been,” he said, adding that Australia has got one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and had started its booster program.

Morrison has had a busy schedule since the exposure last Friday, including a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday and dinner with him at Sydney’s Kirribilli House on Tuesday, as well as the announcement of Moderna vaccine manufacturing in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The South Korean delegation was not concerned that Morrison was identified as a close contact.

“They were totally relaxed about it,” Morrison said. “That’s the thing. The world’s living with it, so we’ve got to live with it.”

Morrison’s trip to Queensland comes after the passengers of two planes were initially forced into a 14-day quarantine, after one person tested positive for the virus.

Following backlash, the Queensland government reversed a decision to quarantine all passengers, instead limiting the isolation requirement to only those who were seated in close proximity to the confirmed case.

Morrison said that it was a matter for the Queensland government, but he hoped ensuring people to join families before Christmas would be a priority.

This was the second COVID-19 scare for the prime minister. He and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet were advised to monitor for symptoms after the Bathurst 1,000 touring car race they attended on Dec. 5 was listed as an exposure site.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce tested positive with COVID-19 last week during a working trip to the United Kingdom and the United States. He is currently in isolation in Washington DC.