Victorians warned to expect ‘a couple of escapes’ when hotel quarantine resumes
The state government is today expected to announce the return of international passenger flights into Melbourne.
It comes after flights were suspended six weeks ago following a COVID-19 outbreak at the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel.
Infectious diseases expert from the Australian National University, Professor Peter Collignon, says the state is “probably ready” to begin accepting international flights again, but there is a risk involved.
“There is a risk if you bring people back,” he told Ross and Russel.
“But equally, if we don’t let them come back we’re saying ‘You can’t come back for a year or more’ because I don’t think we’re out of the woods until probably this time next year.
“We’ve got Australian residents and citizens who may not have a job, may not have an income, may be left somewhere without any support.”
Professor Collingnon says Victorians should expect the virus to escape from hotel quarantine again in the future.
“Probably, we will have a couple of escapes if we bring a lot of people back,” he said.
“But, if we’ve then made sure we’ve vaccinated all those most at risk of really coming to grief, then the consequences are so much less than it was a year ago.”
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