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COVID-19: I'm A Celebrity crew member blamed for sending thousands of Australians into lockdown

·3-min read

Watch: COVID-19: I'm A Celebrity crew member blamed for sending thousands of Australians into lockdown

An I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! crew member who tested positive for COVID-19 has been blamed for sending thousands of Australians into lockdown.

The 31-year-old make-up artist flew to Ballina, New South Wales (NSW), from Sydney on Saturday, carrying an exemption that allowed her to travel for work-related purposes only, according to ABC News.

She was working on the Australian production of the show when she reportedly visited shops, cafes, and restaurants in Byron Bay and Kingscliff without checking in using her QR code.

She later tested positive for coronavirus, sparking a seven-day lockdown of the wider Tweed and Byron Shires.

Queensland closed its borders to these areas at 1am on Wednesday.

ITV told ABC the woman in question was "fully vaccinated and was wearing PPE while at work". It added that all of her close contacts were now in isolation.

She has now been arrested for multiple breaches of public health orders.

According to coronavirus restrictions in Australia, people who have travelled from Sydney, which is still in lockdown, must stay at home when they are not working.

Catherine Cusack, a Liberal member of the NSW upper house, called on the state health minister, Brad Hazzard, to resign over the incident.

Watch: COVID will end up resembling common cold by spring next year, leading experts say

She tweeted on Tuesday: "I am devastated to learn the lockdown of Byron and Tweed LGAs triggered by a so called 'essential worker' closing businesses, schools and ruining cross border progress. 100% OUTRAGEOUS! Brad Hazzard massive fail - RESIGN!"

Local leaders have also expressed anger at ITV studios over the filming of its shows in the area.

I'm A Celebrity is based in Tweed Shire and Love Island is based in the nearby Byron Shire.

Byron Shire mayor Michael Lyon said he is looking to rescind his council's approval for the filming of Love Island.

"It is so devastating to be in lockdown again, and it is clear the honour system relied on by the state government is deeply flawed," he posted on Facebook.

In a separate post, he added: "Our local community is once again paying the price for the lack of consideration as to how COVID can spread to the regions.

"People are allowed to leave Sydney for a range of reasons and I think it's time the NSW government looked very closely at further tightening these rules that are allowing people to travel or, at the very least, restricting their movements while they are here."

A spokesman from the Tweed Council said the community was "seeking clarity around what essential work exists that requires an individual from a Sydney hotspot to spend four hours at a Kingscliff Pub".

The Australian version of the popular reality series is being filmed in the country for the first time due to coronavirus travel restrictions. It is usually filmed in South Africa.

The UK version, meanwhile, is to be filmed in Wales for the second time.

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