The limo driver at the centre of the latest Sydney Covid outbreak is fearing for his life after he was blamed for sparking the current cluster clampdown gripping the city.
Breaking his silence for the first time, the Sydney Airport driver made the shocking suggestion that he is not the Patient Zero that caused the new flare-up – instead claiming he caught the virus at his local cafe.
The driver, from Bondi where the Covid cluster has swelled to 36, admitted he refused the AstraZeneca vaccine because of a family history of blood clots.
And he insists he was wearing a mask at all times while working as a limo driver transporting air crew from the airport to hotels.
The Sydney Airport driver (pictured) broke his silence to insist he is not the Patient Zero that caused the new flare-up
The limo driver at the centre of the latest Sydney Covid outbreak is fearful for his life after he was blamed for sparking the current cluster clampdown gripping the city (pictured, a woman runs around an eerily quiet Circular Quay on Thursday)
‘He is very scared and concerned,’ revealed A Current Affair reporter, Lauren Golman, who interviewed the driver.
‘He’s been receiving a lot of criticism and he is worried about his safety and his family safety.’
The unnamed driver is currently in isolation as he fights his Covid infection and was too ill and too scared of the public backlash to show his face onscreen to defend himself, she said.
But Ms Golman told host Tracy Grimshaw that he admitted he had avoided getting the AstraZeneca vaccination for fear of the possible side effects.
‘He is over the age of 60 which means he is eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine,’ revealed Ms Golman.
The driver told ACA reporter, Lauren Golman (pictured) that he is very scared and concerned
Despite the growing case numbers, Ms Berejiklian has stood by her policy of not imposing a blanket lockdown on the city (pictured, masked commuters on Thursday)
‘He tells me he has a family history of blood clots and he didn’t feel comfortable getting the vaccine.
‘He says he has been working with his doctor, they talk regularly, they tried to come up with a plan but at this stage he is too afraid to have the AstraZeneca vaccine.’
Even although the driver was in an apparently high-risk occupation on the frontline with international travellers, vaccination was not mandatory, but strongly recommended.
There was no explanation why he hadn’t been vaccinated with the Pfizer jab instead, but Ms Golman stressed the driver was not an anti-vaxxer.
Ms Golman added: ‘He has not received any kind of pressure or encouragement to have the vaccine. I’m not sure if he has had conversations with his employer.’
The unnamed driver (pictured) is currently in isolation as he fights his Covid infection and was too ill and too scared of the public backlash to show his face onscreen to defend himself
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) on June 12 who was violently coughing and sneezing
Despite his daily close contact with flights crews, the driver believes he was actually infected with the deadly Delta Covid variant by a customer at his regular coffee stop, Belle Cafe in Vaucluse in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
He told the show he vividly remembered another customer in his 30s sat near to him at the cafe on June 12 who was violently coughing and sneezing.
The cafe become an exposure site at the start of the outbreak, with an elderly customer catching the virus there from an infected person.
‘He claims he is not patient hero despite what we heard from New South Wales health,’ said Ms Golman. ‘He feels he caught it out and around in his local area.’
But she added: ‘New South Wales Health believes that he is patient zero in the Sydney outbreak.’
Police spent days investigating whether the driver breached any health orders, which require those working around the hotel quarantine system to be tested for the virus daily.
An emotional Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) said she was as ‘upset and frustrated’ as anyone that the ‘patient zero limo driver’ who seemingly triggered the outbreak was working without being vaccinated or wearing a mask
The unnamed driver, from Bondi, admits he refused the Astra Zeneca vaccine because of a family history of blood clots.
Ms Golman said he had not been given daily Covid tests on his days off and his infection was only picked up when he returned to work and testing resumed.
By then though, he had seemingly been spreading the disease around the community for days.
Until this point, he insists he had been following all the rules and regulations.
‘He claims he was wearing a mask, he was wearing gloves,’ said Ms Golman. ‘He has been doing so since the outbreak of the pandemic early last year.
‘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.’
The Bondi cluster, linked to the man, has since grown to 36 people – gripping Sydney and locking millions in the city, with restrictions brought in and school holidays ruined.
Despite his daily close contact with flights crews, the driver believes he was actually infected with the deadly Delta covid variant by a customer at his regular coffee stop (pictured, masked customers leaving a Circular Quay ferry on Thursday)
Gladys Berejiklian chokes up and claims she’s as ‘upset and frustrated’ as any Sydneysider that ‘patient zero’ quarantine driver was ‘unvaccinated and mask-less’
- Gladys Berejiklian admitted she’s ‘upset and frustrated’ as anyone else in Sydney
- NSW premier was asked on Thursday why the limo driver wasn’t vaccinated
- Ms Berejiklian said Sydney is going through ‘scariest period’ of the pandemic
By Alana Mazzoni for Daily Mail Australia
An emotional Gladys Berejiklian says she is as ‘upset and frustrated’ as anyone that the ‘patient zero limo driver’ who has triggered a Covid outbreak in Sydney was working without being vaccinated or wearing a mask.
The NSW Premier said health officials are still investigating why the driver who contracted the Indian Delta strain of Covid was picking up international arrivals and taking them to hotel quarantine without the core safety requirements.
‘I am as upset and frustrated as anybody, we all worked so hard and it is really disappointing when things don’t go the way they should. I live and breathe it every day and I feel it intensely everyday,’ she said on Thursday.
‘We also rely on tens of thousands of outstanding people every day to do jobs that we would not do, to be in contact with people with the virus, so I want to continue to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all those people who put themselves on the line every day.’
‘But I also want to say to those 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.’
The fact the driver was unvaccinated, and not required to be, was revealed last week when his case was made public, but the claimed lack of PPE mandate was not.
Police had investigated whether the driver, aged in his 60s, was in breach of the health order that required those working in the hotel quarantine system to be tested for the virus daily.
The NSW Premier said health officials are still investigating why the driver who contracted the Indian Delta strain of Covid was picking up international arrivals without the core safety requirements (pictured, testing queues in Bondi on Thursday)
NEW COVID-19 RULES FOR GREATER SYDNEY
From 4pm Wednesday for one week:
Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests – including children;
Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;
Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;
Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed;
Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people);
Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn);
The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals;
Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity;
Previous public transport capacity limits, represented by green dots, will be reintroduced