11 May 2021

No pause for quarantine-free travel despite community case in Melbourne

10:24 pm on 11 May 2021

The Ministry of Health recommends that no change is made to quarantine-free travel, despite a new community case of Covid-19 in Melbourne.

The first quarantine-free flight, NZ103, which took off from Auckland for Sydney on 16 October.

(file pic) Photo: Supplied / Air New Zealand

The Ministry said the current risk to public health is low, and green-zone travel between New Zealand and Victoria should not be stopped on that basis.

The new case - a man in his 30s - tested positive for the virus after completing quarantine in South Australia after returning from overseas.

Victorian health authorities have revealed potential Covid-19 exposure sites.

However, the state government said that no new lockdown measures will be imposed in Victoria at this stage, with three of the man's household contacts returning negative test results.

"We're not foreshadowing anything [restrictions wise]," chief health officer Brett Sutton said.

The man completed his hotel quarantine last Tuesday and flew directly back to Melbourne before returning to his home at Wollert that day, health authorities said.

Professor Sutton said he believed the man contracted the virus while in the South Australian hotel quarantine system.

"I think it's absolutely the case that he picked it up in quarantine in South Australia but we'll see what other potential exposure sites might exist," he said.

Meanwhile, South Australia's chief public health officer, Nicola Spurrier, said the possibility the man caught the virus in the hotel programme was "right at the top of our mind" given previous incidents in other states.

Professor Spurrier said while in the quarantine hotel, the man had been staying next door to a traveller who tested positive for the virus.

Health Minister Martin Foley said it was believed the man departed India and flew to the Maldives and Singapore, before landing in Adelaide.

He developed symptoms on Saturday, got tested on Monday and returned a positive result this morning, the Victorian health department said in a statement.

Foley said a follow-up test confirmed the diagnosis.


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