Virus woman took train to Sydney
A woman has been blasted by officials after she was intercepted after taking a train from Melbourne to Sydney despite showing symptoms of coronavirus.
Despite waiting to receive pending results of a COVID-19 test, the woman was caught at Sydney's Central Station on Thursday morning just hours after a public lockdown was announced.
Under a new public health order, Melbourne residents living in virus hotspots could face a maximum penalty of up to $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment for crossing the NSW border.
"This morning we found somebody with symptoms who had actually been tested in Victoria and then got on a train and came to Sydney," NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told reporters.
"Now, that's about as silly as it gets."
Mr Hazzard said the woman was now in self-isolation and awaiting the results of her test.
"If you're feeling sick, and have any symptoms of a cough, cold or flu-like illness - do not go out, do not travel," he said.
The woman was spared the penalties because "it would appear that she was on the train before the order started".
Mr Hazzard said passengers arriving from Victoria will be "screened" at airports and train terminals, but it is still not clear what that actually means.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Thursday she didn't "want to say anything definite" about temperature checks at Sydney airport, but said the measures would be in place to keep NSW residents safe.
Speaking to Channel 9's Today Show, Ms Berejiklian said patrols will be ramped up in a bid to keep high-risk visitors from Victoria out of the state.
"We're saying to those people in those hot spots, while the community transmission is where it is, you're not welcome in NSW," she said.
In a subsequent interview with Channel 7's Sunrise, the Premier said checks at airports will start from today.
"We are looking at what we can do additionally and we understand health officials will be conducting some checks at the airport as we speak," she said, adding that officials may check ID to determine a visitor's residence before entry.
On Thursday morning, a tweet from Mr Hazzard showed how staff were gearing up for the border task, decked out in protective equipment and forms for disembarking passengers to sign.
NSW Health staff commenced screening passengers from Victoria this morning at NSW Airports and XPT train station following new Health Orders made at midnight. New penalties apply to travellers from Melbourne Covid19 hotspots! @NSWHealth pic.twitter.com/511IIXxCiI— Brad Hazzard (@BradHazzard) July 1, 2020
Ms Berejiklian's comments come after she was pressed further about what NSW was doing to keep people safe amid a spike in cases in Victoria.
The NSW Premier was forced to defend a decision not to check people arriving in Sydney from Melbourne on Wednesday.
"We've seen people come into the airport from Melbourne," host Allison Langdon said. "They weren't asked any questions at all. At the baggage check, no-one has spoken to him. Are you going to change this at the airport so the borders are tighter?"
Ms Berejiklian said authorities would "talk " about the best way to manage new arrivals.
The Premier said she could not confirm whether new arrivals would be asked questions at the airport.
"I don't want to say anything definite because I do know as at very late last night, the health authorities with our police were talking on what the best way would be to proceed on this," she said.
On Wednesday, the Berejiklian government said they would ban Victorians in coronavirus hot spots from crossing the border into NSW. She said anyone who disobeyed the rules could face an $11,000 fine and six months in jail.
NSW residents returning from those hotspots will also be forced to quarantine for 14 days
Originally published as Virus woman took train to Sydney