Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley has dashed the hopes of countless travel-loving Aussies, claiming today there was now “every indication” international borders could remain closed “for years”.
Mr Foley said after seeing “example after example” of new cases of COVID-19 leaking from hotel quarantine, it appeared a new case detected in Melbourne could be yet another statistic.
“And there is every indication that we are going to be in a position of some form of closed borders for many, many months, if not years,” he said.
Today a Victorian man was confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus. The man, in his 30s, arrived home in Melbourne after completing quarantine at the Playford Hotel in the Adelaide CBD.
Mr Foley said he had left India, via the Maldives via Singapore, and arrived in Adelaide.
“All the Health Ministers work in a hugely collaborative way and we all share learning experiences and we all share the experiences of having seen now, (what) I don’t think they have enough toes and fingers to count, the number of times that we’ve seen the virus leak out of hotel quarantine right across the country,” Mr Foley said.
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“As the South Australian Minister indicated when I heard him speak, saying that there is no such thing as a foolproof hotel quarantine facility.
“There is example after example of the leakage out of hotel quarantine that continues and this would appear to be another example.
“And there is every indication that we are going to be in a position of some form of closed borders for many, many months, if not years.
“Yes, we need to make sure we get, as quickly as possible, to the highest level of vaccination programs.
“But with variance a concern, with the need of likely top ups in vaccination programs, we are going to need a strong border control and a strong quarantine control likely for years.
“And we cannot continue to have a situation where it is the states disproportionately bearing the load in this quarantine process.
“And tonight’s budget is an opportunity for the federal government to step up and do its bit and see to its constitutional duty of managing quarantine in partnership with the states and fund the proposal.”