30% Returned Overseas Travellers Refuse to Be COVID-19 Tested in Victoria

By AAP
June 26, 2020 Updated: June 26, 2020

Federal politicians from both sides of the divide have labelled as “reckless” and “selfish” returned travellers in quarantine in Victoria who are refusing COVID-19 tests.

Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen revealed on June 26 about 30 percent of international travellers are refusing to be tested, despite multiple offers during their 14-day stay.

Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman was shocked by the figures.

“Frankly, I think it is recklessly indifferent of people in quarantine not to agree to have a test, because we’ve seen the number of people that are in quarantine testing positive is obviously a lot higher than the rest of the population,” he told ABC television on Saturday.

“If they are not prepared to do that, they shouldn’t come back.”

Labor frontbencher Linda Burney thought their actions were “really selfish”.

“The reason that Australia is doing relatively well in terms of the virus is because of the testing regimes and we know how important they are,” she told ABC television.

But she wouldn’t go as far as Zimmerman in calling for mandatory testing.

Melbourne remains a worrying coronavirus hotspot, and testing is being ramped up as Victoria enters the school holidays.

Victoria recorded 30 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, its 10th continuous day of double digit infections.

As of Friday, there were 7595 confirmed virus cases across the country since the outbreak began, which has seen 104 people die, two of which were in the past week.

More cases of coronavirus are expected, with hundreds of Australians set to return from overseas in coming days to begin mandatory 14-day quarantine.

About 260 people arrived in Adelaide from Mumbai on Saturday morning, while hundreds are expected to follow from South America, Indonesia and India.

South Australian Health Minister Stephen Wade is preparing for about five to 10 percent of returnees to have the virus, as was the case when people arrived from Indonesia in other states.

Despite the outbreak of coronavirus cases in parts of Melbourne, restrictions are being eased across Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the spike in cases is being managed appropriately, and he believes it’s reasonable for states to bar residents from hot spots.

“We remain on track, the curve remains flat,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Except for Western Australia, all jurisdictions will restart domestic travel during July, a commitment Morrison expects states to uphold.