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Woman in hotel quarantine granted bail after allegedly abusing staff, refusing to stay in her room

ABC Health logo ABC Health 30/07/2020 By Lucy MacDonald
Tasmania Police were twice called to the hotel to deal with the woman who was refusing to stay in her room. (Facebook: Tasmania Police) © Provided by ABC Health Tasmania Police were twice called to the hotel to deal with the woman who was refusing to stay in her room. (Facebook: Tasmania Police)

A Tasmanian woman accused of breaching coronavirus quarantine rules has been granted bail and will continue isolating in a Launceston hotel.

Deanece Ann Morrell, 59, of Penguin, was charged with failing to comply with the direction of an emergency management worker.

She had arrived in the state on Thursday on the Spirit of Tasmania and was later arrested at the Best Western Hotel in Launceston.

Police were called to the hotel just after 11:00am, after reports the woman had allegedly become "abusive and aggressive" and was refusing to stay in her room.

Tasmania Police said the officers advised her about the quarantine requirements and left shortly after.

About three hours later, police were again called to the hotel because of the same woman.

She was allegedly again refusing to stay in her room, "being disruptive and throwing food".

Tasmania Police said officers gave her a formal direction to quarantine, which she refused.

She was then arrested and charged with "Fail to comply with lawful requirement or direction of an emergency management worker".

Ms Morrell appeared via video link from the Launceston Reception Prison to the Launceston Magistrates Court.

A Justice of the Peace granted her bail and she will reappear in court on August 19.

State Government places new restrictions on essential workers

From Friday morning, the State Government will be cracking down on all essential travellers coming from Victoria and hotspots in New South Wales.

Workers from these areas are now unlikely to be granted exemptions to travel to Tasmania unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as medical treatment or "industry critical circumstances".

Those that are allowed in will undergo mandatory testing on arrival.

The new rule extends to freight and logistics operations unless they have evidence of having had a test more than seven days before entering the state.


The hot spots will be determined by the New South Wales Government.

At the same time, non-Tasmanians and residents returning from Victoria who are required to stay in hotel quarantine will now have to do so at their own expense, except in cases of extreme hardship.

The cost will be at $2,800 per person, with a reduced per-person rate for couples and families.

People who are currently in hotel quarantine will not be required to pay.

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