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Victoria closes international air crew quarantine loophole with strict new rules

3AW Mornings
Article image for Victoria closes international air crew quarantine loophole with strict new rules

The strict new COVID-19 testing regime for international airline crews could see flights divert away from Melbourne.

Until midday on Wednesday, international airline crews weren’t subject to the same quarantine measures as their international passengers.

International flight crews were permitted to quarantine at home or in a hotel chosen by the airline.

Now, they are required by law to enter mandatory quarantine at a government supervised hotel until their next flight and undergo testing for coronavirus.

If they test positive they must isolate in health hotels until they are no longer infectious.

The Herald Sun reports one airline has already diverted a plane to Sydney to avoid the strict new rules.

The Victorian rules are much tougher than those over the border in New South Wales, where Qantas flight crews are allowed to isolate at home.

Airline expert Brian Wilson welcomed the new rules and said Qantas staff shouldn’t be exempt from the restrictions placed on other airline staff.

“We’ve got one carrier saying ‘We’re special and we should be able to do something else, irrespective of the public risk’,” he told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.

“When they … isolate at home they’re not being paid. If they were to go into a hotel the arrangement is that they will be paid.

“This is all about cost.”

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