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Premier admits bending COVID protocols while being tested


NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian admits she did not follow the NSW Health guidelines which stipulate people must isolate after taking a COVID-19 test.

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“I accept that in hindsight, I should have kept my doors shut for the 90 minutes or two hours while I was waiting for the result and in hindsight, I should have done that,” Berejiklian told ABC TV on Tuesday.

“But it was only because I was tired and losing my voice and I knew that I didn’t have any symptoms.

“But having said that, I’m judged accordingly and I have to accept that, and I should have probably done that. Absolutely,” she said.

Berejiklian said she took the test a week ago on budget day because she was losing her voice and knew she would be asked about it by reporters.

But she continued working in her office during the two hours it took to get the negative result.

The Premier said she did not regret taking the test because she wanted to be able to declare she was clear of the virus, as she came into contact with so many people.

She insists she didn’t have any COVID symptoms.

“I didn’t have a sore, scratchy throat. I didn’t have a runny nose,” Berejiklian said.

“I was overly careful. But I appreciate, I appreciate what it looks like and I appreciate how I’m judged and I appreciate that I should have closed my door for the 90 minutes to two hours and I shouldn’t have been with anybody.”

She admitted colleagues and staff go in and out of her office frequently when parliament sits.

Berejiklian was present at the treasurer’s budget speech at noon last Tuesday and for Question Time in state parliament from 2.15pm.

She denied she had become complacent about the risk of contracting COVID-19, which she warns the public about regularly.

“I still haven’t hugged my parents. That is really hard, since February. I haven’t let anyone touch me, even though people run up to you in the middle of the street and I put my elbow out,” she said.

Opposition health spokesman Ryan Park earlier said it was clear last week that the Premier “had a scratchy throat, which we all know is a symptom of COVID-19”.

“There must be no doubt that the Premier followed her own health department’s advice,” he said.


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