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Acting Premier’s call for mandatory international flight crew testing

Victoria’s acting Premier is urging other Australian jurisdictions to make COVID-19 testing of all international flight crew mandatory. Jacinta Allan said since the state’s new hotel quarantine program started there had been about 30,000 tests of international flight crew that had picked up seven positive coronavirus infections.“We’re the only state to undertake mandatory testing of…

Victoria’s acting Premier is urging other Australian jurisdictions to make COVID-19 testing of all international flight crew mandatory.

Jacinta Allan said since the state’s new hotel quarantine program started there had been about 30,000 tests of international flight crew that had picked up seven positive coronavirus infections.

“We’re the only state to undertake mandatory testing of all international flight crew,” she told reporters on Monday.

“We’d actually encourage other states to pick this up because we see it’s just another layer of protection – another way we can make sure we’re using every effort to keep the Victorian community safe.”

Despite Victoria and NSW recording a combined total of three new locally acquired infections on Monday, there was no word on when the border between the two states would reopen.

There were three more cases of community transmission in Victoria, all of them linked to the Black Rock cafe cluster, while NSW recorded no new cases.

“That decision on borders, and indeed all other restrictions like the wearing of masks and the limits on numbers of people in family homes will be guided by the public health advice,” Ms Allan said.

“Yes, the numbers here for Victoria today, it’s a very strong set of numbers – of course we always love the zero days – but this is a really strong day for Victoria.”

Ms Allan said there was “priority” to get people who had medical needs and other emergencies across the border into Victoria, with other situations assessed “case by case”.

“We’d encourage Victorians to apply for consideration,” she said.

“For residents who live in the established border bubble they can come in, there’s no limit on them being able to return.”

She said the state government was “having a look” at cases where families were trying to get across the border in time for school.

“But any decision based on anyone coming back from NSW will only be granted an exemption based on the health advice and their movements at the time,” she said.

Ms Allan also said it was a “positive day” for NSW.

“I think they’ve indicated that they’ve got some continuing concerns and are monitoring very closely that outbreak associated with the BWS – they’ll work closely with our public health team in Victoria as that information comes to light,” she said.

NSW recorded zero new locally acquired cases in the official reporting period to 8pm on Sunday but diagnosed two cases that will be included in Tuesday’s numbers.

It also recorded seven internationally acquired cases in hotel quarantine and Victoria recorded one.

“We still have a way to go because we do want to reach for those zero days, and to get to those zero days that will rely on continuing to get people to get tested,” Ms Allan said.

“But it’s a positive day but we’ve still got a long way to go. We’ll work very hard to get back to those zero days.”

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