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Travellers released from hotel quarantine after Health Department bungle

Neil Mitchell & Ross and Russel
Article image for Travellers released from hotel quarantine after Health Department bungle

Travellers who fled Brisbane before it was declared a ‘red zone’ but were stuck into hotel quarantine upon arrival, have been released to quarantine at home.

It comes after 3AW was contacted by travellers who said they’d gained permission from the Department of Health before coming to Melbourne.

Melbourne declared Brisbane a ‘red zone’ as of 6pm on Monday.

Sam was on board a flight from Brisbane which departed just before the city became a red zone.

He contacted the Victorian Health Department several times and was told his ‘orange zone’ permit stood because his flight left before the red zone came into effect.

“I boarded my flight at 5.35pm and I spoke to the DHHS at 5.15pm, who confirmed that I would not be going into hotel quarantine,” he told Neil Mitchell.

Upon arrival, passengers on his Qantas flight were held on the plane for two hours, before being individually interviewed.

He was told he would “most likely be tested almost immediately and flown back to Brisbane”.

Instead, he was taken to a quarantine hotel — the Park Royal at Melbourne Airport.

The Department of Health says “a number of travellers who entered Victoria from Brisbane on March 29” would no longer be “required” to stay in hotel quarantine.

“In a pandemic, we have to act fast and err on the side of caution. Protecting the whole community is the No.1 priority,” the department said in a statement.

Press PLAY below for more.

Alex Main was on another flight from Brisbane to Melbourne when Victoria upgraded the city’s status to a ‘red zone’.

She has been ordered to isolate at home for 14-days.

“As I was flying back on the plane it got upgraded to red,” she told Ross and Russel.

Ms Main says half of the plane were told to go into quarantine at home, while others were sent to a hotel.

“They were getting on a bus and then getting sent straight to hotel quarantine,” she said.

Press PLAY below for more.

Neil Mitchell & Ross and Russel
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