An international traveller who flew into Sydney in July managed to dodge quarantine and take a connecting flight to Melbourne, the Victorian Government has revealed.
Citing a government spokesperson, the ABC reports a passenger claimed to be exempt from NSW’s hotel quarantine scheme, allowing him to transfer to Melbourne.
The Age reports the breach was questioned by airline staff. The man was then met by Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff upon arrival at Melbourne Airport, and he was entered into the state’s mandatory hotel quarantine scheme.
The good news: the man, who reportedly travelled from San Francisco, tested negative for COVID-19 on days three and 11 of his hotel stint. The less wonderful news: it wasn’t DHHS policy at the time to reach out to close contacts of the man, ie. other passengers on the plane, regarding the mix-up. Glad the guy tested negative, then.
The Age adds that it’s not entirely clear how the man managed to slip through.
The revelation comes just days after security guards at Melbourne Airport spotted a pair of travellers who’d arrived from Germany milling about the airport-to-city bus terminal.
Quick thinking from the security workers revealed the pair also slipped through Sydney airport’s quarantine system, after a police bungle allowed them to catch the connecting flight.
Those travellers also tested negative to COVID-19 twice in a row, meaning the 170-odd passengers considered close contacts were allowed to leave self-isolation.
In a statement provided to the ABC, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today said “mistakes are going happen” as Australia attempts to isolate travellers.
She said the state could not commit to perfection at the border. Look, with that many people, it’d be hard to keep a 100% record. Even still…