Up to 17 Kiwis detained in Melbourne — Travel bubble bursts

Marco Green
October 17, 2020

Three flights arrived in Sydney on Friday carrying 230 New Zealanders.

The passengers are reported to have flown into Sydney under a new travel bubble with New Zealand and then taken a connecting flight to visit family in Melbourne.

However Victoria is not accepting overseas arrivals at the moment and the move sparked an outcry from Victorian health authorities for allowing them to slip through.

"We haven't welcomed people to Sydney in months that haven't had to come through customs and go straight on to buses to hotel quarantine", Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Cuthbert told the AFR National Infrastructure Summit in Sydney yesterday.

Australia's travel bubble with New Zealand will pop today, with the first flights from across the ditch set to touch down on our shores. New Zealand isn't yet reciprocating, and says anyone returning from a trip to Australia must quarantine for 14 days on their return.

Victoria is not accepting global travellers due to the coronavirus crisis and the passengers were stopped at Melbourne Airport last night.

Victoria records one new coronavirus case and no deaths
Australian borders open to travellers from New Zealand - Xinhua | English.news.cn

Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said its authorised officers did not have legal authority to detain travellers on arrival.

Australians are now unable to travel to New Zealand and have been banned from travelling globally in all but exceptional circumstances since March 20.

Reaction on social media was swift.

New South Wales Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said he was hopeful the trans-Tasman travel arrangements would pick up pace.

'We've got good numbers around COVID infection rates that continue to stay low, and good management practices in place, so I'd be encouraging the New Zealand government to open up their quarantine provisions as soon as possible'.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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