Victoria’s hotel quarantine program relaunched on April 8 as “safe as it gets”
The first international flight is due to land at Melbourne Airport at 4.30am from Colombo.
Other flights from Sri Lanka, Singapore, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are also expected to arrive, with 106 total passengers expected.
Acting Police Minister Danny Pearson said today that six hotels are ready to welcome arrivals following a thorough review of the quarantine program.
“We have tested, we have trained and we are ready to go,” he said.
“We went through these hotels room by room, floor by floor, to make sure they were safe.
“We have refined the program accordingly.”
The state’s revived program will accept 800 return travelers per week before increasing to 1,120 arrivals on April 15.
The program body, COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV), has confirmed that international arrivals will be allowed to request special exemptions to leave hotel quarantine for a period of time.
The exemptions include compassionate grounds, such as people wishing to attend a funeral or visit a dying relative.
Strict protocols will be in place, with returning travelers having to test negative for COVID-19 before being allowed to leave.
They should also wear full PPE when not in quarantine.
Victoria COVID-19 Quarantine Commissioner Emma Cassar said the program had undergone a complete overhaul, with a series of changes coming into effect.
There will be increased personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements at all hotels, with 2,200 employees required to wear N95 masks.
A thorough ventilation review was carried out, analyzing the airflow in each hotel room.
Hotel quarantine staff must also be vaccinated in order to work in the program.
“We really believe this program is as safe as it gets,” Ms. Cassar said.