Border chaos as Daniel Andrews’ health minister is blindsided by NSW throwing its borders open to the world exposing an extraordinary loophole for families stranded overseas
Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley has stumbled through questions about how international travellers could sidestep the state’s hotel quarantine regime by entering from NSW.
Daniel Andrews’ government announced on Friday that fully vaccinated NSW residents will now be able to travel to Victoria without having to isolate for 14 days on arrival.
But his announcement came minutes after NSW Premier Dom Perrottet revealed international travellers returning to NSW will not need to quarantine at hotels or at home from November 1.
This has exposed a major loophole in travel between the two states with reporters questioning whether a traveller could fly from London to Sydney and then into Melbourne a few days later – dodging Victoria’s mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley has stumbled through questions about how international travellers could sidestep the state’s hotel quarantine regime by entering from NSW
‘I don’t speak for the NSW government but I I understand their position to be is that you have to have a negative test 72 hours before you come to Australia,’ he said.
‘You have to be double dosed. That is the same position that we are seeking people under the new more flexible system that will come in as of next Tuesday for returnees into Victoria from New South Wales and the ACT.’
‘In regards to the international border system, we have signed up to the process that the National Cabinet has put in place.
‘If National Cabinet takes a different view, we will be part of that process also.’
When pressed again if Victorians would just fly back to Sydney and then into Melbourne, Mr Foley said it was a ‘matter for the NSW government’.
‘We don’t control the international borders. The Commonwealth government approve who comes back. They approve who can leave. It would be easier to come back into New South Wales than it will be to get around New South Wales,’ he said.
He said Victorian authorities would need to look at NSW’s plan further before commenting on what it meant for returning travellers, adding he didn’t know about it before until it was announced.
‘Everyone needs to take a chill pill,’ he said.
‘We are not aware of the full details of a media release hot off the printer from the NSW Government.
‘We will go through that. We wish New South Wales, as we always do, every success, and Victoria will go about its business in the national context, understanding it’s the Commonwealth who control international borders, not the states.’