International travellers have flown into Melbourne for the first time in months

 

 

The first international flight to land in Melbourne since June has touched down at Melbourne Airport.

The flight, from Colombo, is one of eight international flights due to land in Melbourne today.

Passengers arriving from overseas will go straight into Victoria’s revamped hotel quarantine system.

More than 170 Australian Defence Force personnel are now involved in the scheme, temperature checking staff and helping to manage the entry and exit of travellers into hotels.

Victoria Police will be in charge of all aspects of security within quarantine hotels.

Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville, who is ultimately responsible for overseeing the scheme, said the chances of another hotel quarantine breach were minimal.

“You can’t say 100 per cent that you’re not going to get an infection out of it, these are people that are coming back from countries that have infections,” she said.

“But what we’ve got are robust systems in the hotels with the staff to minimise the risk, then there’s a strong and revamped contact tracing system that will immediately get into action.

“This is our number one priority, it is the number one priority for Victorians, we’ll continue to assess this program as we go through, we’ll continue to upgrade it if necessary.”

The arrival of international flights comes after New South Wales Police admitted wrongly allowing two German travellers to go from Sydney to Melbourne over the weekend.

The 53-year-old woman and 15-year-old boy tested negative to coronavirus and are now in mandatory quarantine.

Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley said some exemptions potentially allow for people to bypass quarantine, but this was not one of those instances.

“For instance, if you fly into Sydney today and you’ve got a relative who is very ill and perhaps about to die, then there is a system in place where you can, under really strict controls, get an exemption,” he said.

“When they’re random events like we saw over the weekend, that’s a concern, but I am pleased that New South Wales Police fronted up and owned the issue and that we won’t see that occur again.”

Ref: ABC NEWS  (on 07 Dec 2020). International travellers have flown into Melbourne for the first time in months. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-07/first-international-flight-since-june-lands-in-melbourne/12955862

 

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