Less than a month after flights between Sydney and Melbourne resumed, two travellers arriving from Germany have somehow managed to dodge mandatory hotel quarantine in Sydney and hop on a domestic flight straight to Melbourne.
The two overseas arrivals are now quarantining in Melbourne, after arriving in Sydney at around midday on Saturday. Contact tracers are currently getting in touch with the 130-odd passengers on Virgin Australia VA 838, who’re being urged to isolate.
“We’ve been made aware of an incident at Sydney Airport in which two international travellers from the same family were allowed to board a domestic flight to Melbourne without going through the mandatory quarantine process in New South Wales,” Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters.
“I’ve spoken to [NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard] to seek an explanation as to how it was that the security arrangements at Sydney Airport saw the two passengers avoid their hotel quarantine obligations in Sydney and travel to Melbourne.
“He has assured me a full investigation will be completed so it cannot occur again.”
UPDATE: Exposure site
Anyone who travelled on Virgin Airways flight VA 838 from Sydney to Melbourne departing Sydney at 12 midday and arriving in Melbourne at 1:25pm 5/12/2020 should immediately quarantine at home and contact DHHS on 1300 651 160 for further information. pic.twitter.com/NMPsEPeIGJ
— Victorian Department of Health (@VicGovDH) December 5, 2020
After tackling a massive second wave, Victoria has now gone 37 consecutive days without any new coronavirus cases.
Part of that success came from keeping the borders shut, with interstate flights not resuming until late last November.
Understandably, people now want answers as to how these two travellers were able to dodge mandatory quarantine and slip through the system in the first place.
NSW Police is currently conducting an inquiry which will hopefully get to thee bottom of the major screw-up.
While the airports Sydney and Melbourne aren’t being treated as a significant risk, a spokesperson for Virgin Australia said that it passed on passenger and crew info to health authorities.
“Upon being informed these guests had travelled on our aircraft without entering hotel quarantine, we removed the aircraft from service to perform a deep clean, as a precautionary measure,” the spokesperson added.
Now that the two travellers are safely quarantining in a hotel, let’s hope nothing more becomes of this incident.