A Goulburn couple faces fines of $19,000 each after allegedly escaping Melbourne Airport when police told the pair they would have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.*
The 24 and 26-year old allegedly fled in a car waiting outside the airport after arriving from Canberra, Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said.
“Upon the advice of the public health team, those people have breached numerous orders of the public-health state of emergency in Victoria and they will each be fined at least $19,000 for their breaching of those arrangements,” he said.
“This is a very serious matter.”
The couple has since returned to Goulburn.
Canberrans were also left unsure of quarantine requirements when arriving in Victoria on 1 January after some were told by police at border checkpoints they would need to self-isolate after crossing the border, despite contrary advice from Victorian health authorities who said the ACT remained a green zone.
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Acting ACT Health Minister Chris Steel said the ACT Government confirmed with the Victorian Government that ACT residents or people travelling from the ACT will be permitted entry to Victoria without having to quarantine unless they have visited a hotspot area.
“We are aware people have received conflicting advice when travelling to Victoria,” Mr Steel said yesterday.
“We have raised these concerns with the Victorian Government and expect they will update communications and information overnight in line with the new direction taking effect.
“This is a rapidly changing situation and we ask Canberrans travelling to Victoria to remain patient and follow the Victorian Government website for more information.
“Any ACT resident who has received conflicting advice at the border this evening should contact the Victorian Government for more details.”
Victoria’s border closure with NSW comes into effect today (2 January).
Genomic sequencing of the virus in Victoria has linked the NSW cluster and the outbreak in Victoria.
Mr Foley acknowledged that the closures would be difficult for some people over the holiday period, but are necessary as the virus “does not respect state borders”.
“We take all the necessary measures we can to make sure that we bring it under control as soon as possible,” he said.
For information on the arrangements in Victoria, visit Vic Gov.
*CORRECTION: This story originally said the couple have been fined. The fines have yet to be issued.