Health Minister relying on door knocks and license plates to keep Victorians out
Airlines and police will be primarily responsible for enforcing NSW’s ban on Victorians from COVID-19 hotspots, the Health Minister has confirmed.
Travel to and from the hotspot suburbs identified by the Victorian government has been banned by the NSW government, with travellers in both directions facing fines of up to $11,000 or six months jail.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told Mark Levy the show of solidarity with the Victorian Premier goes “above politics”.
“The [Victorian] government’s made that decision, and we’re making sure that we reinforce that message: we won’t have them up here either.”
Mark pointed out that despite the tough penalties, many have been caught flouting past restrictions.
“Minister, … would it not be easier to just stop them by closing that border?”
Mr Hazzard was adamant such a measure isn’t necessary, and that today’s restriction would be enforced by airlines “stepping up checks” and police questioning drivers with Victorian number plates.
“People who come up here will not know when they’re going to get a knock on the door.
“If you’re suggesting I’m being overly gentle and enabling about it, no I’m not, I’m striking the balance.”
“I just think it’s fraught with danger,” Mark said.
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Nine News political reporter Chris O’Keefe told Mark Levy today’s announcement is “nothing more than a creative political fix”.
He said there’s no indication there are any checks being carried out on flights into Sydney.
“We spoke to about five or six people coming in from Melbourne on Qantas flights into Sydney Airport today.
“One lady said ‘You get checked when you go into Chemist Warehouse, but it seems strange you don’t get checked at the airport’.
“Right now it’s an absolute free-for-all.”
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Image: Nine News Australia