Melbourne’s coronavirus-free streak may be at risk following the arrival of at least one symptomatic traveler who returned yesterday.
Authorities were not taking risks with a passenger who was quarantined at the Novotel in South Wharf, where he is expected to be kept in a separate floor from others who have no symptoms.
“Victoria police told us to step back a bit more from the entrance and they also moved the barriers, saying that a potentially infected person was about to enter the hotel,” reports Reid Butler of 9News.
The passenger has been tested.
About six to seven other passengers were taken to the Novotel South Wharf, which is dedicated to quarantining anyone who may need additional care beyond the standard quarantine.
The first international arrival yesterday was Sri Lankan Airlines flight UL604 from Colombo, which landed at Melbourne Airport shortly before 8am.
The plane was the first of eight international passenger flights scheduled to arrive, and the last flight was scheduled to land at around 11:30 p.m.
Victoria has not accepted international flights since July 10 after the coronavirus leaked outside quarantined hotels, infecting security guards, workers and sparking the state’s second deadly wave.
The revamped plan is being led by the newly created COVID-19 agency Quarantine Victoria, led by Corrections Commissioner Emma Cassar, who reports to Police Minister Lisa Neville.
Ms. Neville said that Victoria’s revitalized system had “the best venues in the country.”
“We are very confident that we have the strictest risk management structure and oversight in place that we can do, which will meet the health needs and compliance needs that we will need in this program to ensure that the virus does not come out again in our community. “, said.
More than 250 passengers were due to arrive in Melbourne from overseas yesterday, averaging 160 arrivals per day for a week.
SkyBus services take travelers to the Pan Pacific or Park Royal quarantine hotels.
People in need of additional support are transported to the Novotel South Wharf, which is a hotel health and care complex.
“The team has done an incredible job welcoming returning travelers this morning,” said Ms Cassar.
“We are very confident in the program. The team has been restarting this program for five months and has left no stone unturned.”
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said last week that the new program was based on recommendations made by the Hotel Quarantine Investigation.
“We know that there are lessons to be learned in relation to hotel quarantine and we have learned those lessons,” he said.
Under the newly reinitiated quarantine program, returning international travelers cannot leave their rooms to get fresh air or exercise except for medical, health or compassionate reasons.
They receive three meals a day plus snacks, however they are not allowed to accept care packages from their families.
Some food delivery services are allowed.
Rigorous controls are also being carried out at the airport, and travelers with symptoms or temperatures are taken directly to a medi-hotel.
Victoria Police are at the forefront of providing security, with up to 300 officers deployed to quarantined hotels each day to monitor floors.
Approximately 200 ADF staff members are also helping with the program.
No private security is used and all personnel must be screened daily.
Hotel quarantine workers, with the exception of cleaning staff, are directly employed or contracted by CQV.
Cleaners are hired by Alfred Health.
Returning travelers must also pay their own bill for the 14 days of accommodation.
Program rates include $ 3,000 per adult, with $ 1,000 for each additional adult in a room and $ 500 for children ages three to 18.
There is no charge for children under the age of three.
Andrews said he believed the new program was safe, but that “there would always be some risk.”
“I believe this is a program that is as safe as it can get, but I am obliged to be clear that no hotel quarantine system, whether in Adelaide, Sydney or New Zealand, cannot make it zero risk.” he said.
Victoria yesterday did not register new cases of coronavirus for the 38th consecutive day.