Australian state remains open to New Zealand travellers despite lockdown

SYDNEY (XINHUA) – Travellers from New Zealand are free to enter the Australian state of Victoria despite the state’s various lockdown measures in place to control COVID-19.

The Victorian government website updated yesterday, saying that the trans-Tasman travel bubble allowed travellers from New Zealand to arrive in New South Wales and the Northern Territory without a 14-day quarantine.

“Currently the Victorian borders are open,” the Department of Health and Human Services said.

“If you are travelling from New Zealand and have passed all relevant immigration and biosecurity requirements as established … then you are able to travel to Victoria. You do not need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Victoria. “

The website warned travellers with symptoms associated to COVID-19 should not travel to Victoria and may be subject to detention under public health laws.

It came after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews blasted the federal government following the surprise arrival of up to 55 travellers from New Zealand into Melbourne over the weekend.

“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,” Andrews told reporters yesterday.

“I’m not going to be quarantining people that came from a low virus community, and we just have to make the best of this.”

Victorian authorities have contacted the 55 travellers from New Zealand and informed them of COVID-19 restrictions in the state.

The hardest-hit state by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country eased restrictions on travel, outdoor gatherings, sports, hairdressing and auctions from yesterday.

However, stay-at-home orders have not been lifted yet in the state’s capital. Retail and personal care services in Melbourne also remain closed.