Aviation

Trans-Tasman travellers arrive in South Australia, despite state not being in ‘bubble’

Five trans-Tasman travellers have arrived in Adelaide and are now in hotel quarantine.

According to Premier Steven Marshall, the group arrived in the state unexpectedly on a flight from Sydney, despite South Australia not being part of the travel bubble agreement.

Currently, one-way travel from New Zealand to Australia is only available to NSW and the Northern Territory. However, arrivals from New Zealand have been reported in Victoria and Western Australia as well.

Premier Marshall made the announcement at a press conference on Monday afternoon, after the five New Zealand arrivals entered the state on Sunday.

According to ABC News, he said the passengers identified themselves at Adelaide Airport and are now in hotel quarantine in Adelaide.

The state government is now reportedly considering its border arrangements with New Zealand.

“We are looking very closely at the arrangements with regards to our borders with New Zealand,” Premier Marshall told the press, via ABC News.

“They’ve done extraordinarily well and we’re hopeful that we might be able to lift that border restriction with New Zealand when it’s safe to do so.”

The Premier added that all the state’s coronavirus protocols had been observed when the passengers arrived in SA.

“Our system here in South Australia works extraordinarily well,” he said.

Speaking to the national broadcaster, an SA Police spokeswoman confirmed the Premier’s statement.

“All have been placed into medi-hotels to complete quarantine as per normal arrangements with international travellers,” she told ABC News.

“There will be an increase in public information to ensure sufficient information is being disseminated in SA and NSW to advise travellers of the requirement to quarantine if travelling to SA.”

Warnings in place to alert visitors of travel restrictions: Birmo

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham this morning told ABC Radio that while NSW and the NT had opened to arrivals from New Zealand, other states, and territories – like SA – had clear rules in place.

“For other states, they are able to treat arrivals from New Zealand just the same as they’re treating arrivals from any other country of the world,” he said.

“So, if people land in New South Wales and spend 14 days in NSW and then come onto SA, well then of course they’ll be treated like an arrival from New South Wales.

“But if they land in NSW 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.”

According to The Advertiser, the Australian Border Force considers Kiwi arrivals as domestic travellers once they arrive in Australia, but the SA government labels them international arrivals who must quarantine.

Senator Birmingham said warnings were in place to alert visitors to state and territory travel restrictions.

“There are ample warnings for individuals who are going through airports, getting on planes, booking your ticket, logging in to get your boarding pass,” he said.

“At every step of the journey there are basically warnings telling you that you travel between Australian states at your own peril at present … and you need to check in advance on the conditions that apply to you.”

According to reports, NZ arrivals receive a federal government document advising on rules.

One-way trans-Tasman travel began on Friday, with Kiwis now allowed to enter NSW and the NT under a border agreement between Australia and New Zealand.

Victoria will not force Kiwis into quarantine

Despite an agreement being made between just two of Australia’s jurisdictions, others have been seemingly forced into the bubble.

According to 9News, the Victorian government yesterday acknowledged, after days of protest, Kiwis were free to travel to Victoria from other states and did not need to quarantine upon arrival.

“Currently Victorian borders are open. If you are travelling from New Zealand and have passed all relevant immigration and biosecurity requirements as established by the federal government, New South Wales government and Northern Territory government, then you are able to travel to Victoria,” the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website reads.

“You do not need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Victoria.

“If you have travelled from New Zealand and you have symptoms associated to coronavirus (COVID-19), you should not travel to Victoria. If you do, you may be subject to detention under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 on your arrival.

“You will be subject to the relevant health directions and restrictions in place during your stay in Victoria and may be subject to heavy penalties should you breach those.

“If you intend to leave Victoria, you will also be subject to the requirements of other states and territories in Australia, which may require you to quarantine in that state or territory or you may be refused entry to that state or territory.”

It comes after reports that at least 55 trans-Tasman travellers had arrived in Victoria on connecting flights from NSW. The number of arrivals is now thought to be as high as 65.

At his daily press conference yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews claimed the state had been forced into a travel bubble of which the state did not want to be a part.

According to 9News, he conceded the state was now a part of the travel bubble.

“We are not particularly pleased that we were asked the question ‘do you want to be in a bubble?’, and it turns out that even though we said ‘no, we are’, but that is the fact of the matter, that is what we faced,” Premier Andrews said.

“It seems like the bubble applies to every part of our country, not just those that said yes. We can’t change that.”


Featured image source: iStock/ai_yoshi



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