Australia’s richest man is allowed to SKIP quarantine in notoriously strict Western Australia despite the billionaire mining mogul having tested positive to coronavirus
- Andrew Forrest was granted an exemption to quarantine after returning to WA
- The mining billionaire returned from a trip to Asia where he contracted Covid
- His company’s chief executive said Mr Forrest was negative before arriving back
- WA requires anyone coming from NSW to enter 14-day mandatory quarantine
Mining billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, who owns Fortescue Metals Group, contracted the deadly virus while travelling through Asia last year.
Mr Forrest was allowed to avoid a second stint of self-isolation after flying in a private jet back home to Western Australia having been granted an exemption.
At the height of the pandemic, Mr Forrest, who is worth an estimated $23billion, was granted exemptions to travel extensively, both interstate and abroad.
Ordinary Australians have been banned from going abroad in all but exceptional circumstances since the border was shut on March 20, with all returning travellers made to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine.
Mining billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest (pictured) was able to skip quarantine in Western Australia after arriving from New South Wales following his return from a trip overseas
Mr Forrest flew back into Western Australia on his private jet, avoiding having to go into quarantine on arrival (pictured, passengers exiting Perth’s domestic airport)
Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said Mr Forrest and every one of his travelling group returned negative test results prior to returning to Australia from Asia, News Corp reported.
‘Due to having zero contact with any persons, including the supervising police, Dr Forrest received an exemption from the Western Australian state government to return to WA without an additional quarantine period,’ she said.
Ms Gaines said Mr Forrest and those he was travelling with strictly adhered to national quarantine requirements.
Travellers from NSW are not allowed to enter Western Australia unless they have been provided with an exemption.
Normally, if permitted entry they must quarantine at suitable premises for 14 days.
Mr Forest caught the virus from a female Russian interpreter after she joined his travel crew on a four-month tour in 2020 spanning 47 countries.
The purpose of the tour was to pursue potential renewable energy projects for his company.
The unnamed woman, who was introducing Mr Forrest to government leaders as well as acting as an interpreter abroad, tested positive herself in Uzbekistan.
Mr Forrest (pictured) contracted Covid from a female Russian interpreter while travelling through Central Asia last year
Western Australia has banned travellers from New South Wales. Only those with an exemption are allowed in and they must quarantine for 14 days at suitable premises. Pictured, passengers entering hotel quarantine in Perth
After Mr Forrest showed signs of infection, the tour was postponed, with the Fortescue crew returning to its travel base in Croatia.
No other crew members tested positive for Covid, with Mr Forrest spending three days in a specialist respiratory clinic in Switzerland as a precaution.
‘I’m grateful that our apparatus, systems technologies and precautions kept my team safe,’ Mr Forrest told the Australian Financial Review.
‘I would rather have not caught Covid, but it hasn’t harmed me, I’m still as fit as a fiddle.’
After his short stint in the Swiss hospital, Mr Forrest made a full recovery.
Mr Forrest started his first mining company, Anaconda Nickel in 1994. Almost a decade later, he founded Fortescue Metals Group, which mines and ships iron ore to China.
COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NEW SOUTH WALES:
- Western Australia – All NSW residents are banned from entering WA. Anyone who enters the state will be ‘sent back’, according to Premier Mark McGowan. In reality, all arrivals from NSW must have a special exemption and then have to quarantine for 14 days, either at home or in a hotel.
- Victoria – Regional NSW was declared an ‘orange zone’ on January 11, and locals will be allowed into Victoria from 6pm with a permit. On January 18, Greater Sydney was also deemed an orange zone. People from ten Sydney LGAs, including Blacktown and Liverpool, which are deemed red zones are still banned.
- Northern Territory – The state has declared greater metropolitan Sydney as a Covid-19 hotspot, and travellers will need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.
- South Australia – Harder border closure to all NSW residents from midnight on New Year’s Eve. Returning South Australians must quarantine for 14 days. A 100km border buffer zone, including Broken Hill and Wentworth, will be exempt.
- Queensland – Queensland has shut its borders to Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. Locals returning to the Sunshine State from a hotspot must isolate.
- ACT – Anyone travelling to the ACT from a Covid-19 hotspot in NSW will now require an exemption. People from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong will not be legally permitted to enter the ACT without a valid pass from midday on Saturday January 2.
- Tasmania – Northern Beaches residents banned. All people from Greater Sydney must also quarantine upon entry.