Hotel quarantine security guards are in place just to provide a "deterrence" rather than being able to exercise any power of restraint over potential escapees, Tasmania Police's Deputy Commissioner says.
A 31-year-old man was able to walk out of the Travelodge Hotel in Hobart last Monday and spend 18 hours in the community while COVID-positive, highlighting gaps in the system.
CCTV at the hotel did not capture him leaving.
The man appeared on a network television news bulletin on Tuesday evening where he claimed he was told he was allowed to simply walk out of the hotel.
The interview will be used as evidence as part of a police investigation into his conduct.
Deputy Commissioner Donna Adams said private security was used for domestic hotel quarantine due to it being considered a "lower risk", with the army used for hotel quarantine for international arrivals due to their higher risk.
"Security guards are not expected to grapple with people seeking to leave a hotel facility, they're there as a general deterrence," she said.
"There are clear protocols that if there was someone seeking to leave, that they refer those matters to Tasmania Police.
"The expectation would be that security would call police. Police are well trained to deal with difficult and non-compliant people.
"The last thing we want is untrained security guards to be grappling with someone seeking to leave a facility."
The government will receive a report from the State Controller into the quarantine breach in the coming days, which will be released to the public.
Neither Premier Peter Gutwein nor Deputy Commissioner Adams would comment on the man's television interview due to it being part of a police case against him.
"On the basis that the police investigation is underway, I should not make any comment in terms of what was broadcast last night," Mr Gutwein said.
Police confirmed there had been a total of two breaches of quarantine in which people had entered the community - the man last week, and the 15-year-old at Newnham.
Labor had questioned whether further breaches had occurred, and that these cases were only made public because the people had tested positive, but Deputy Commissioner Adams said there had been no other breaches.
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