A former journalist who witnessed a huge crowd of people flouting social distancing guidelines at Sydney Airport has described it as a kick in the guts.
Sally Prosser, a voice coach, took the video at Sydney Airport showing huge crowds of people close together.
The footage, taken Thursday, showed the arrivals section, with travellers closely packed together – social distancing be damned.
Ms Prosser said when she asked Australian Border Force staff why social distancing wasn’t being enforced, she was told, “Not our problem, that’s biosecurity.”
“I just feel like it was a real kick in the guts to everyone out there doing the right thing,” Ms Prosser said.
“At the frontline, there’s nothing, there’s no-one even encouraging people to stand apart.”
People breaking social distancing guidelines in NSW could be fined or face jail time under new laws.
The government says social distancing in public means keeping 1.5 metres away from others.
People are also urged to avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses, use tap and pay instead of cash, travel at quiet times and avoid crowds.
Returning travellers still make up the largest proportion of coronavirus infections, both from cruise ships and air travel.
Meanwhile, ABF Commissioner Michael Outram addressed criticism of the agency over the Ruby Princess disaster, pointing the finger at NSW Health and the federal Agriculture Department, which he said was responsible for “human biosecurity”.
One Twitter user commented on Ms Prosser’s video, “Why are international arrivals still able to come in? We can’t leave but people can flood in still? No distancing, no checks, no tests – is Border Farce completely incompetent? First cruise ships, now this.”
Another said, “Oh but it’s OK, they’re all going straight home to 14 days of isolation, without stopping at Woolies to buy food, or to see their mates or families. Because clearly we can trust them all to do the right thing.”
The Morrison Government has emphasised the need for returning travellers to immediately self-isolate for 14 days regardless of whether or not they feel ill.
“We will not tolerate anybody putting the community at risk as a returned traveller,” Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said on Sunday.
“People coming back from some countries — and you know which ones they are — have a high risk now of carrying the coronavirus and they are the people who’ve largely led to the spread of the virus in our community over the recent weeks.
“So, returned travellers, please, stay at home. Don’t go anywhere on the way from the airport or the cruise ship or wherever you are from.”