News Coronavirus NSW screens Victorian arrivals in COVID hotspot crackdown

NSW screens Victorian arrivals in COVID hotspot crackdown

nsw victoria screening
Arrivals at NSW airports from Victoria are being screened amid the coronavirus lockdowns. Photo: Twitter/Brad Hazzard
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NSW health authorities are screening Victorian travellers coming into Sydney by train and by air, in a crackdown on Melbourne’s coronavirus hotspots.

New health orders came into effect at midnight in NSW, which could mean people are fined or jailed if they travel north of the border from any of the Victorian hotspots.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told Channel Seven that keeping the borders open with Victoria was the right thing to do.

Ms Berejiklian said authorities were coming down hard on those doing the wrong thing.

“Please remember the health orders only came in at midnight so we were getting advice on what areas the Victorian government had determined were hotspots and they will change,” she said.

“We are looking at what we can do, additionally, and I understand our health officials will be conducting some checks at the airport.”

Mr Berejiklian told Channel Nine that public safety would always be put first in NSW.

“We’re saying to those people in those hotspots, whilst the community transmission is where it is, you’re not welcome in NSW.”

NSW residents returning from those hotspots will also be forced to quarantine for 14 days, the NSW Health Minister said.

The screening follows the NSW government’s announcement it would ban people living in Victoria’s hotspots from entering the state.

In a tweet, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said staff had started screening passengers from Victoria at Sydney Airport and XPT train stations.

Mr Hazzard on Wednesday said the state government had no choice but to implement the crackdown.

“It’s not something we want to do but we must do for our own safety.”

However, setting up the screenings is at odds with the Health Minister’s comments on Wednesday that it would be down to police to enforce the new health orders.

“I would expect police, if they see Victorian number plates, they will be looking at who and where and making sure they haven’t come from the hotspots,” Mr Hazzard said.

Mr Hazzard said NSW was “not going to accept” Melbourne residents trying to beach Victoria’s lockdown and “slip across” the border.

“As soon as you set foot in NSW, you’ll be exposed to the possibility of six months jail and $11,000 fine,” he said.

“Take it seriously, take it very, very seriously.”