Daniel Andrews is savaged after complaining travellers coming into Victoria from COVID-19 free New Zealand – despite his own government advice saying it is OK to do so
- Victorian Premier slammed by deputy prime minister for criticising travel bubble
- NSW opened borders to Kiwi travellers without need to quarantine on Friday
- 65 travellers since arrived in Victoria, despite the state not signing up for bubble
- Daniel Andrews called for federal government to keep closer eye on travellers
Daniel Andrews has come under heavy fire for slamming the new trans-Tasman travel bubble letting New Zealanders into the country, despite his own government saying it is OK.
Michael McCormack took aim at the embattled Victorian Premier on Monday, a day after Mr Andrews expressed concerns over the travel bubble which allows travellers to move between New Zealand and New South Wales without a need to quarantine.
Mr Andrews claims 65 travellers have arrived in Victoria in recent days – despite the state refusing to join the trans-Tasman bubble as it recovers from a horror second wave of coronavirus.
Mr Andrews hit out at the federal government for not keeping a closer eye on those travellers after arrive in Australia.
This is despite his own government’s website stating Kiwis can enter Victoria if they’ve passed the relevant immigration and biosecurity checks.
Nationals leader Mr McCormack returned serve on ABC’s News Breakfast, where he was grilled by host Michael Rowland as to why other states should accept Kiwis who have flown in from Sydney.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews isn’t happy about the trans-Tasman travel bubble which opened up on Friday. Pictured are some of the first Kiwis arriving into Sydney without the need quarantine
‘Daniel Andrews, for one, has insisted that he’s told the Prime Minister, personally, that Victoria does not want to be part of the travel bubble,’ Mr Rowland told the Deputy Prime Minister.
Mr McCormack replied: ‘And look to the Melbourne situation at the moment. I mean, I’m going to always take the best health advice from the Chief Medical Officer in this country.
‘Professor Paul Kelly, Professor Brendan Murphy, they’ve stated quite clearly that it is a 14-day rolling average of fewer than ten cases. Victoria is following almost an eradication policy. So you know, let’s be a little bit sensible here.’
He insists the travellers arriving on Australia’s shore are ‘healthy New Zealanders’ coming from areas where there have been no recent transmissions.
He was quizzed as to why other states which haven’t signed up for the travel bubble are also getting Kiwi travellers.
Daniel Andrews claims 65 travellers have arrived in Victoria in recent days after NSW opened up its borders to New Zealanders (pictured) on Friday
‘They’re putting, as I understand the New Zealanders into quarantine, so they, at the end of the day, have the jurisdictional responsibilities for their own state borders,’ Mr McCormack said.
‘But they are also available to see the manifests of airlines.’
‘They are, and they have been since October 16, those passenger logs have been made available to governments, to Health Ministers, to health officers, protocol officers in the various states.’
The Victorian government website states its borders are open to Kiwi travellers.
‘The ‘trans-Tasmin (sic) travel bubble’ allowed travellers from New Zealand to arrive in New South Wales and the Northern Territory without having to quarantine for 14 days on arrival,’ the website stated on Monday.
‘If you are travelling from New Zealand and have passed all relevant immigration and biosecurity requirements as established by the Federal Government, New South Wales Government and Northern Territory Government, then you are able to travel to Victoria.
‘You do not need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Victoria.’
The Victorian Premier (pictured) has come under fire from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack over his criticism of the trans-Tasman travel bubble
Mr McCormack also slammed Mr Andrews over his handling of Victoria’s coronavirus crisis which has resulted in 770,000 job losses across the state and ordered five million Melburnians into lockdown.
A string of restrictions were finally relaxed on Monday but many non-essential retailers remained closed.
‘Melburnians are so frustrated. They want to resume their life,’ Mr McCormack said.
‘They’ve seen the case rates now very low. Mortality rates, of course. It’s very, very sad that with those numbers of deaths, more than 800 in Victoria, of the roundabout 900 across the country.
‘But the case and mortality rates in recent days have been to a level which, according to the national Chief Medical Officer, should be sufficient to start opening up, to start easing some of the restrictions.’
Victoria recorded four new cases and one death on Monday.
Some Kiwi travellers which arrived in Sydney on Friday have since travelled to other states which haven’t signed up for the trans-Tasman travel bubble. Pictured is an emotional reunion of loved ones at Sydney Airport on Friday
Mr Andrews continued his criticism of the trans-Tasman travel bubble during his daily press conference on Monday.
‘There are 17 flights into Melbourne today that could possibly have New Zealand passengers that have arrived via Sydney,’ he told reporters.
‘We, you know, 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.
‘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.’
VICTORIA’S PATHWAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN
The state government has mapped a new pathway out of lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria that depends on stamping out COVID-19 cases in the community which have an unknown source.
STEP ONE: From 11:59pm Sunday
* Two-hour outdoor time limit scrapped
* 5km travel restriction extended to 25km
* Outdoor gatherings up from five to 10
* Face-to-face allied health appointments to resume
* Tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen
* Outdoor swimming pools open to a maximum of 30 swimmers
* Hairdressers can reopen
* Outdoor real estate auctions permitted with up to 10 people, plus staff
STEP TWO: From 11:59pm on November 1:
* Up to two people, plus dependents, allowed to visit a home per day
* All retail shops can open
* Hospitality: maximum of 20 indoor seated customers (subject to one per four sqm), maximum of 50 outdoor patrons (subject to one per two sqm)
* Beauty and personal care services open
* Wedding groups of up to 10 permitted
* Up to 20 mourners allowed at funerals
* Outdoor religious gatherings and ceremonies capped at 20 people
MAJOR RESTRICTIONS REMAIN:
* Approved face masks must be worn at all times outside home
* Work from home if possible
* All businesses must have a COVID-safe plan