Health officials to meet incoming Melbourne flights

Incoming flights to Melbourne will be closely monitored as health officials catch up with all 55 New Zealanders who snuck into Victoria last week.

In a statement the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) assured that the travellers were aware of the state’s delicate coronavirus predicament.

“The travellers, some in family groups and most staying in private homes, were provided with information about COVID-19 and the current Victorian health directions,” it said.

“Three of the travellers did not cross the border into Victoria and remain in NSW, and one who was in Victoria returned to NSW today.

“Twenty-one of the 55 travellers arrived at Melbourne Airport on Friday and Saturday. The remainder arrived using other modes of transport.

“DHHS authorised officers continue to meet incoming flights at Melbourne Airport and provide information to arriving passengers.”

The travellers entered Victoria after flying into NSW as part of the new travel bubble deal between Australia and New Zealand.

But the Victorian Premier hit out at the commonwealth over the slip-up.

“We don’t want anything at all to undermine the amazing job that Victorians have done and are doing. Some things have gone wrong here. We are very much at the end of that, not necessarily part of it. We made it clear that we didn’t want to be part – could not be part of the bubble arrangements at this point,” he said.

The passengers who flew into Sydney did not need to enter hotel quarantine under the new trans-Tasman travel bubble arrangements.

Under the deal between the two nations, New Zealanders are permitted to travel quarantine-free into both NSW and the Northern Territory under the proviso they’ve not been in a COVID-19 hot spot in the 14 days leading up to their travel.

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