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Apple Island appears to have averted a Covid-19 outbreak after a Melbourne-based contractor working on Spirit of Tasmania ferries tested positive.

Crossings to and from Melbourne and Devonport were canceled on Friday evening when the positive case emerged among a TT-Line employee.

The contractor worked below deck on both Spirit of Tasmania ships on Monday and Tuesday while he was contagious.

“We have identified each of the people… who have been involved in this exhibit,” Acting Director of Public Health Dr Scott McKeown said on Saturday.

“There was a small group of people, 17, who were exposed through the two ships. No other worker was exposed to this case.

Eleven are in Tasmania and all have since returned negative results on rapid tests, while two in six in Victoria have also tested negative.

Another 67 crew members are also undergoing precautionary tests on the port side at Devonport.

“The risk to passengers remains very low and therefore they were able to disembark the ship if they wished,” Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein said.

The canceled crossings disrupted travel plans for around 150 passengers in Melbourne as well as 40 to 50 in Devonport, with almost all choosing to stay in their cabins overnight.

The Devonport ferry is set to set sail on Saturday, while the Melbourne ship may follow suit once the four main close contacts based in Victoria give negative results.


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