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Limo driver who sparked Sydney Covid outbreak banned from work until vaccination


The airport limousine driver who sparked Sydney’s Covid outbreak has recovered from the virus but can’t return to work until he is vaccinated.

The 60-year-old and his wife are finally allowed to leave their apartment in Bondi after two weeks in isolation from his positive test on June 15.

He caught the Indian Delta variant while ferrying Fed Ex air staff to hotel quarantine and unknowingly spread it to a 50-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman in the eastern suburbs.

‘We are recovered, I’m feeling great,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.  

The airport limousine driver (pictured) who sparked Sydney's Covid outbreak has recovered from the virus but can't return to work until he is vaccinated

The airport limousine driver (pictured) who sparked Sydney’s Covid outbreak has recovered from the virus but can’t return to work until he is vaccinated

Covid cluster in Sydney rose by 24 on Thursday, bringing the total to 195. Pictured: Health workers register people for Covid-19 tests at Bondi

Covid cluster in Sydney rose by 24 on Thursday, bringing the total to 195. Pictured: Health workers register people for Covid-19 tests at Bondi

However, the driver has not returned to work yet because he needs to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

‘I need to register and need to be vaccinated in order to get back to work. I am not sure when yet,’ he said.

Having refused refused AstraZeneca because of a family history of blood clots, he added: ‘I’m hoping for Pfizer.’

Government policy enacted in response to him triggering the outbreak requires anyone working with quarantined or international arrivals to be vaccinated.

If a worker does not comply, employers can be fined up to $11,000. 

He was not legally required to be vaccinated at the time he caught the virus, but said he was wearing a face mask during the ill-fated trip from the airport on June 11.

People working around the hotel quarantine system were asked to present for daily Covid testing, but the driver admitted he had not been tested on his days off.

Upon leaving their eastern suburbs home, the husband and wife visited a grocery store and Bondi Post Office.

However, the driver has not returned to work yet because he needs to be vaccinated against coronavirus. Pictured is a woman getting her jab at St Vincent's Hospital clinic in Sydney

However, the driver has not returned to work yet because he needs to be vaccinated against coronavirus. Pictured is a woman getting her jab at St Vincent’s Hospital clinic in Sydney

The 60-year-old and his wife are finally allowed to leave their apartment in Bondi after two weeks in isolation from his positive test on June 15

The 60-year-old and his wife are finally allowed to leave their apartment in Bondi after two weeks in isolation from his positive test on June 15 

‘It’s my first day out of the house and I’m enjoying myself,’ he said. He is afraid to reveal his identify and risk extreme public backlash and even physical harm.

The infection was caught when testing resumed when he returned to work – but he was already out in the community for several days before getting the positive test result. 

During that time, he had fleeting contact with a man in his 50s in Myer at Westfield Bondi Junction who latest tested positive.

Later that week, a woman in her 70s also caught it while sitting outside Belle Café as the driver walked past her to get inside.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was quick to slam him in a press conference by blaming ‘people in and around the system who think complacency is okay’.

‘It’s not okay. We know it and we feel it and we will get to the bottom of it,’ she said. 

The Sydney Airport driver caught the Indian Delta variant while ferrying Fed Ex air staff to hotel quarantine

 The Sydney Airport driver caught the Indian Delta variant while ferrying Fed Ex air staff to hotel quarantine

The infected limo driver believed to be 'patient zero' claims vividly remembered another customer in his 30s sat near to him at the Belle Cafe in Vaucluse (pictured) who was violently coughing and sneezing

The infected limo driver believed to be ‘patient zero’ claims vividly remembered another customer in his 30s sat near to him at the Belle Cafe in Vaucluse (pictured) who was violently coughing and sneezing

She then dodged questions about why the driver was unvaccinated, saying: ‘Obviously we will have more to say about that once police have completed their investigations.

‘Everybody in NSW who works in our systems know their obligations, and we certainly look forward to providing certainty around what occurred in this situation.’

Police launched an investigated to determine whether the driver was in breach of public health orders, but the probe was dropped on Saturday.

‘[On Friday] I advised we had sent the case for urgent external legal advice due to the significance of this outbreak and the community concern,’ Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

‘I can now confirm we have received advice that there is insufficient evidence to establish that either the limousine driver or his employer breached any public health orders.’ 

Two weeks after the limo driver was infected, Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) announced that Sydney would enter a two-week lockdown on Saturday

Two weeks after the limo driver was infected, Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) announced that Sydney would enter a two-week lockdown on Saturday

Despite his contact with international flights crews, the driver has fervently denied claims by NSW Health that he was patient zero of Sydney’s outbreak. 

He insisted he caught coronavirus from a ‘coughing man in his 30s’ at Belle Café in Vaucluse instead. 

His claim was dismissed on Saturday by NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant, who said their investigations had found no evidence to support his story. 

On Nine’s A Current Affair last week, the driver said he feared for his life after he was blamed for sparking the current outbreak. 

Reporter Lauren Golman said: ‘He says he sanitises his car in between passengers. He wants to look after his own family – he has a wife and daughters and three grandchildren.

‘He wants to keep everyone safe, not to mention the wider community.’

On Saturday evening, Sydney was plunged into a two-week lockdown in an attempt to quash the city’s growing number of cases.

The Bondi cluster grew to 195 on Thursday. 



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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