‘Confusing’: Passengers hear conflicting advice from airlines and health departments

Passengers arriving at Sydney Airport from Melbourne on Sunday showed mixed reactions to stay-at-home orders from airlines and state health authorities as Victoria’s five-day lockdown continues.

NSW Health advised on Sunday morning that those who had arrived in NSW from Victoria from midnight on Friday to stay home for five days. Victoria went into lockdown last Friday.

However, at Sydney Airport on Sunday the Meigan family from Campbelltown were a little confused after arriving whether stay-at-home orders issued by the Victorian Department of Health commenced once they had landed in Sydney, or once Melbourne went into lockdown.

The Meigan family from Campbelltown returning from Melbourne after a family trip.Credit:Edwina Pickles

“When we got here at the airport, they were saying that [stay-at-home orders] started from today,” Simon Meigan, 43, with his family of four, said. “But before that, we were told we only needed to isolate five days from when it started in Melbourne.”

“It’s confusing.”

A spokesperson for NSW Health said the family, and others in their position, would only need to follow the order until Wednesday. Exceptions include shopping for essential items, medical and other care and caregiving, outdoor exercise, emergencies and essential work.

For international student Tina Nguyen, who is en route home to Los Angeles in the US after completing a business degree at Melbourne’s Monash University, she had no issues.

“I feel like Australia is a safe place in general,” the 26-year-old said. “I wasn’t really concerned [about flying].”

In part, she said, that was because a negative COVID-19 test was a prerequisite to her flying into the US and, in Sydney, she was pleased with staff screening efforts, despite passengers boarding in Melbourne without those checks.

“There wasn’t any temperature testing or anything in Melbourne,” she said.

Tina Nguyen, 26, an international student en route home to Los Angeles after completing a business degree at Melbourne’s Monash University.Credit:Edwina Pickles

“There was a temperature test when I got out of the aircraft here, and they had a questionnaire basically asking, ‘What are you doing here?’ ‘Where were you?’”

“But when I was in Melbourne, they didn’t ask that many questions.”

For the Meigans, who had spent the weekend in Melbourne for a pre-planned trip, screening in Sydney was as to be expected: a temperature check and a COVID-safe check-in form.

“There was nothing in Melbourne,” Mr Meigan said. “But once we got to Sydney, they took our temperatures, and made us fill out the Service NSW forms.”

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