Spirit of Tasmania overnight sailings cancelled following COVID-19 fears

© Provided by ABC Health Public Health says there is no risk to the 60 passengers booked on last night’s sailing from Devonport. (Facebook: Spirit of Tasmania)

Spirit of Tasmania sailings departing from both Melbourne and Devonport were cancelled last night after a TT-Line contractor tested positive to COVID-19.

Ten Spirit of Tasmania crew members have been confirmed as close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case, forcing overnight sailings across the Bass Strait to be cancelled.

Tasmania’s Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Julie Graham, said in a statement the crew members were exposed to an infectious case, who is a TT-Line contractor in Melbourne.

They have been placed into quarantine in Devonport and have been tested for COVID-19.

The remainder of the crew stayed on board the ship last night and will be tested today “out of an abundance of caution”.

Dr Graham said there was no risk to the 60 passengers booked on last night’s sailing from Devonport because of onboard COVID-19 safety measures put in place by TT-Line.

“The passengers were informed of the decision to postpone the sailing and given the option to stay on board in their rooms overnight or to safely disembark the vessel,” she said.

She said no freight or private vehicles would be able to leave the ferry until this morning, due to safety reasons.

Last night’s sailing from Melbourne to Devonport departed but returned to port soon after.

“Vic Health is currently managing the impact of that decision on passengers and crew,” Dr Graham said.

Test results of the crew members are expected later today.

Tasmania’s border remains closed to travellers who have spent time in Victoria, New South Wales or the ACT.

Returning Tasmanians and travellers from other states can board the Spirit of Tasmania if they have transited through Victoria.

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