A man forced to isolate at home after catching the same Virgin flight with two dual-nationals who skipped hotel quarantine claims it is too easy for travellers to leave the airport without getting checked for Covid-19.
Howard Levy is one of the 130 passengers of Virgin flight VA 838 who have been forced to quarantine after catching the Sydney to Melbourne flight on Saturday.
Two German-Australians, aged 53 and 15, were revealed to have boarded the plane after returning from overseas and skipping mandatory hotel quarantine in Sydney.
The pair have tested negative to Covid-19 and are currently waiting in Melbourne hotel quarantine for the results of the second round of testing.
A visibly angry Mr Levy appeared on the Today Show on Monday to say he was not only upset that he could have caught the virus but how easy it seemed for travellers to bypass the quarantine system.
‘Whatever the politicians are telling you is absolute rubbish,’ he said. ‘There is no ring of containment.’
NSW Police have taken responsibility for allowing the pair to skip the 14-day quarantine in Sydney (pictured, passengers disembark a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Sydney in August)
‘From the second I walked out of the airplane to exiting the airport, there was nobody there.
‘I could’ve gotten a bus, a taxi, I could’ve infected people there. I went to a coffee shop, a restaurant, I could’ve infected people there.’
Mr Levy has been forced to self-isolate at his Caulfield home, in Melbourne, after travelling down to visit his eight-day-old cousin.
Despite both arrivals from Europe testing negative, Mr Levy feared that if they had coronavirus he could easily have passed it to his family.
‘I could’ve infected my eight-day-old cousin,’ Mr Levy said. ‘Got back on the plane to Sydney in a couple of days, infected my wife, who works in aged care facility, and she could have gone into aged care facility and infected the residents there.’
Mr Levy was passing through the domestic part of the airport, meaning he would not be subject to the security seen by international arrivals.
International flights resumed in the city on Monday morning, with 170 Australian Defence Force staffers drafted in to manage the arrivals into hotel quarantine.
Mr Levy was passing through the domestic part of the airport, meaning he would not be subject to the security seen by international arrivals (stock image)
Howard Levy told Today Show host Alison Langdon (pictured, left) he was upset with how easy it would be to bypass quarantine and the so-called ‘ring of steel’
New South Wales Police have taken responsibility for allowing the dual-nationals to skip the 14-day quarantine in Sydney.
The pair had been returning from Europe, via Japan, and had booked a connecting flight from Sydney to Melbourne.
The pair, after landing in Sydney, were initially told to board a bus to start their 14-day quarantine, before they informed officers they were booked onto a flight to Melbourne.
The young officer responsible for the blunder is understood to be new to the force, and won’t be reprimanded for the incident.
‘Police made inquiries as to travel and exemptions, which subsequently allowed the pair to travel to Melbourne on a domestic flight under standard protocols for exempt travellers,’ a NSW Police spokesman said.
Mr Levy said it was unfair that just one officer took the blame for the mishap and that management needed to start taking responsibility (pictured, a passenger from a Melbourne to Sydney flight presents documents to an officer at Sydney Airport)
‘On arrival in Melbourne, Victoria Health advised NSW Health the pair were not in possession of an approved exemption and had been escorted to hotel quarantine – where they remain.’
Mr Levy said it was unfair that just one officer took the blame for the mishap and that management needed to start taking responsibility.
‘In my view, we’ve seen CEOs of banks and insurance companies resign because of the actions of their employees, but yet we continue to see ministers of police and health who are, at best, incompetent, continue in their jobs.
‘There is no consequences for these guys. And there should be. And people are tired of their meaningless investigations and worthless apologies.’
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews hopes those quarantining as a result of the incident will be released from their requirements on Monday if the travellers test negative to the virus for a second time.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews hopes those quarantining as a result of the incident will be released from their requirements on Monday, if the travellers test negative to the virus for a second time (pictured, passengers board a Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Sydney)