Passengers from New Zealand detained in Melbourne
Fourteen passengers have been detained in Melbourne after they arrived from New Zealand under the trans-Tasman bubble arrangements.
The ABC understands the passengers flew to Sydney and got a connecting to flight to Melbourne.
Melbourne is currently not accepting international travellers.
Australian Border Force (ABF) has been contacted for comment.
But the Australian Department of Home Affairs says on its website that “quarantine-free travel from New Zealand will initially be to New South Wales and the Northern Territory only. Other states and territories may be added at a later date.”
A spokesperson from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is aware of media reports, but we have not been approached in relation to this matter.”
Three flights from New Zealand touched down at Sydney Airport earlier today carrying international passengers who, for the first time in seven months, will not need to quarantine upon arrival.
At Sydney Airport there were tears and hugs as loved ones reunited, with many passengers flying one-way.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard described it as a “great day”, but pointed out New Zealanders arriving today would need to prove they are symptom-free and satisfy other health requirements.
There will be a total of 16 flights between the two countries each week, with Jetstar and Qantas joining Air New Zealand and Qatar Airways in advertising the trans-Tasman flights.
In a media statement yesterday, Air New Zealand said fares beyond Sydney were not able to be booked via the airline due to Australian state restrictions.
“Passengers planning to travel interstate beyond New South Wales will need to ensure they have checked state and territory travel restrictions and have the appropriate exemptions/approvals to travel as these continue to change,” the statement said.
Announcing the travel bubble arrangements earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said to start with, visitors to Australia could only go to New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
Mr McCormack said that was because both jurisdictions impose travel restrictions on places in line with the Commonwealth’s definition of a hotspot — a place with a three-day rolling average of three locally acquired cases per day.
Visitors from across the ditch are only allowed to visit if they haven’t been to a designated hotspot in the last 14 days.