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Expeditioners continue to isolate

Antarctic ice

Thirty-three expeditioners heading south for the Australian Antarctic summer season are continuing to isolate in Hobart ahead of their departure date.

On November 7th they will fly to Casey research station, but in the meantime they have been undertaking an online training course.

Kyle Williams, incoming Station Leader, says it's kept them busy while isolating.

"Little bit different to what we're used to in terms of a normal departure program, but saying that it's really important that we have this process in place because our key goal this season is to keep Antarctica free of COVID-19 and keep our expeditioners safe," Mr Williams said.

Acting Human Resources Manager, Maree Riley, said expeditioners are being given a range of support during their two-week stay at their hotels immediately prior to their flight to Antarctica.

“A period of personal isolation can be challenging, but we’re doing our best to make this experience as positive as possible, by providing care packages and access to exercise equipment,” Ms Riley said.

Activities for this summer season have been scaled back to focus on changing over teams and resupplying stations, with around half of the usual 500 people travelling south.

There will be no major construction activities on Australian stations and science projects in Antarctica will be limited to automated data collection and wildlife monitoring.