CANBERRA, AAP – A group of tourists has been referred to police after travelling to Parliament House in Canberra from a coronavirus red zone in Sydney.
ACT Health received reports of a potential breach of travel restrictions after the group from the Cumberland area of western Sydney visited Parliament House on Tuesday.
“The report was received from the COVID Taskforce at Parliament House and has been referred to ACT Policing for investigation,” a spokesman told AAP on Wednesday.
The agencies are working together to examine the incident.
“ACT Policing would like to remind the community to follow all public health directions and COVID-19 protocols, including quarantine and self-isolation directions,” a police spokeswoman told AAP.
Police have confirmed the group visit was not connected to a peaceful Invasion Day protest that took place outside Parliament House on Tuesday morning.
Federal parliament is set to resume next week, with thousands of politicians and staff returning to the building.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg doesn’t expect proceedings to be disrupted.
“I’m very hopeful and optimistic about that first sitting week going ahead,” he told reporters in Canberra.
Department of Parliamentary Services staff deep-cleaned parts of the building and assured occupants that coronavirus-safe protocols have been followed.
“DPS is aware a group of people potentially from a designated COVID-19 affected area of NSW visited the ACT yesterday, against ACT public health directions, and including a visit to Parliament House,” a spokeswoman told AAP.
“DPS has been in contact with ACT Health and provided relevant information to authorities as well as undertaking cleaning in line with COVID-safe plans for the building.”
The potential breach was reportedly discovered after a member of the group provided their postcode while purchasing a souvenir from the gift shop.
The group was asked if they were from a virus-affected area prior to entering the building.
The Cumberland local government area remains a no-go travel zone for the ACT and individuals can be fined up to $8000 for breaching the travel restrictions.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said federal authorities were seeking more information from ACT counterparts.