New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said her hotel quarantine system is susceptible to human error after it was placed in the spotlight twice this week after returnees allegedly evaded hotel quarantine in Sydney before boarding a flight to Melbourne.
It is not guaranteed events like these won’t happen again said Berejiklian in an ABC interview on Wednesday.
“We have to accept that human error and mistakes are going to happen. I cannot promise that will not happen again,” she said.
“When you are managing that many thousands of people every week, you’re not going to have perfection as much as we would all like it. I cannot guarantee that there will not be incidents like that in the future,” she said.
Berejiklian also noted that NSW was dealing with thousands of overseas returnees a week, carrying the heaviest load for the whole of Australia.
NSW, for 9 months has been consistently involved in the nation’s programme to welcome back Australians stranded abroad due to CCP virus travel restrictions.
Since the start of the virus outbreak around 100,000 Australians have landed at Sydney international airport, with 45 percent not residents of NSW according to Berejiklian.
The quarantine system in Australia has been a source of numerous outbreaks around the country as state and territory governments deal with teething issues in the operation.
South Australia was forced into a four-day state-wide lockdown following a breach of its quarantine system. While an outbreak in Victoria from Melbourne’s hotel quarantine program led Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to enforce a staged lockdown with curfews, limited travel and mandatory masks.
The Victorian outbreak led to over 800 fatalities and around 16,000 infections.
Due to the outbreak, the Victorian government was forced to pause their quarantine system, but have restarted the program this week. Their system is capped to bring in no more than around 160 returnees a day.