New Zealand travellers who incorrectly arrived in South Australia, despite not being part of the travel bubble, will be freed from hotel quarantine.
SA Police confirmed on Monday there were five passengers “unexpectedly” arrived at Adelaide Airport via Sydney Airport on Sunday and said they were all placed into a medi-hotel “as per normal arrangements with international travellers”.
However, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens revealed on Tuesday morning there were 12 New Zealanders who had been placed into hotel quarantine.
He said they no longer needed to isolate because the state immediately changed its restrictions surrounding the travellers.
“I am pleased to be able to announce that with New Zealand people arriving in South Australia they will no longer be required to quarantine,” Mr Stevens said.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Naomi JellicoeSource:News Corp Australia
“We're also happy to receive direct flights from New Zealand.
“The current arrangements are that all 12 people we have in quarantine in SA have travelled directly from NZ to SA, only transiting through Sydney, so on that basis, direct flights from NZ would be within those arrangements.”
Following the state’s Transition Committee meeting, Mr Stevens — who is also the state coordinator — said SA authorities had been in direct contact with NZ authorities.
“We hadn’t had specific advice in relation to the status of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
“The health advice has been assessed by direct communication through our Chief Public Health Officer with New Zealand authorities and there is a level of comfort there in terms of the extent of COVID-19 that allows us to make this decision.”
Under the trans-Tasman bubble arrangement, New Zealanders can travel freely into NSW and the Northern Territory without compulsory quarantining.
However, more than 80 slipped through to other jurisdictions, including Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.
Queensland authorities on Tuesday announced two New Zealanders had tried to enter the state but were now in quarantine. Queensland is not part of the travel bubble.
Passengers arriving at Adelaide Airport. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Kelly BarnesSource:News Corp Australia
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said jurisdictions not included in the bubble could treat the NZ arrivals the same as any other international traveller.
“If people land in New South Wales, spend 14 days in New South Wales, and then come on to SA, well then, of course they'll be treated like an arrival from New South Wales,” he said on ABC Radio Tuesday morning.
“But if they land in New South Wales and decide they're going to head straight to SA, well then they’ll be treated like anybody who happened to arrive on any other international flight that arrives in SA.”
Tourism Minister Senator Simon Birmingham. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia
Senator Birmingham said there were plenty of warnings for people travelling.
“At every step of the journey there are basically warnings telling you that you travel between Australian states at your own peril at present, that there are different border restrictions in place, and you need to check in advance the conditions that will apply to you.”
Sign at Adelaide International Airport. Picture: Tricia WatkinsonSource:News Corp Australia
There were 55 people who entered Victoria without the state government knowing, which sparked Premier Daniel Andrews’ anger.
Mr Andrews said the state never agreed to be part of the travel bubble and called on the federal government to “work” with Victoria.
Mr Birmingham said the AHPPC, which included Victoria’s Chief Public Health Officer, discussed and signed off on the plans prior to the travellers arriving and so “every state and territory was aware”.
“In the case of Victoria, Dan Andrews’ anger is quite feigned and pathetic, because he actually has now indicated they‘re free to come with no quarantine.
“Dan Andrews knew in advance, and actually clearly has no problem with them arriving, despite the rhetoric.”
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