NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reportedly didn’t isolate after having a COVID-19 test last week, and now people want answers.
Two anonymous, “well-placed government sources” told The Australian that Berejiklian continued to attend meetings while she was waiting for her test results on Tuesday, November 17.
“She definitely had the test during the day and continued to be in parliament against the advice of her own Chief Medical Officer,” one of the officials told the newspaper, apparently referring to Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant.
The test was a rapid test, meaning Berejiklian would’ve only had to wait a couple of hours for her results. It’s unclear if she spent that period alone in her office or not.
NSW Health guidelines state that anyone who gets tested for COVID-19 must self-isolate until they receive a negative result, no matter if it’s for a few hours or for a few days.
Now the Premier’s office has responded by arguing that Berejiklian didn’t even need a test in the first place.
“At no stage did the Premier have COVID-19 symptoms, and therefore did not require a test,” a spokesperson for Berejiklian’s office told Nine News.
“However, as the Premier began losing her voice [last week], she took a precautionary test as she anticipated that she would be asked if she had had a COVID test.
“Given her role, the test was administered late in the afternoon and in her office. A rapid negative result was returned in around two hours.”
If the whole thing really was for optics, it would’ve made sense for Berejiklian to isolate for the those two hours, too.
Strange change of statement from when @yoni_bashan originally asked about Gladys Berejiklian's COVID-19 taste and when Nine News asked after we published our story https://t.co/QAAKysDXUD pic.twitter.com/Fxz1K7D1mV
— Kylar Loussikian (@kloussikian) November 23, 2020
No exact timeline was given as to when Berejiklain lost her voice, when she was tested and when she received her negative result.
Of course, not everyone’s satisficed with the response.
“Not only was she present at meetings during the day, the Premier was also on the floor of the House during her Treasurer’s Budget speech at noon, and answering questions during Question Time from 2:15 pm,” opposition leader Jodi McKay said on Twitter.
“When did she get her test result and did she breach health regulations?”
McKay also shared footage of Berejiklian telling people with even mild symptoms to self-isolate way back in May.
For months the Premier has said to stay home when waiting for COVID test results.
Here is Gladys Berejiklian speaking in May.
She has repeatedly warned us that people with even the mildest of symptoms should be tested and self-isolate.
— Jodi McKay (@JodiMcKayMP) November 23, 2020
It would seem, to quote Berejiklian’s own words when she slammed NSW Tourism Minister Don Harwin for flouting lockdown restrictions back in April, that there may well be “a perceived rule for everybody else and a perceived rule for others.”