Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he hoped a “better set of arrangements” for airline crew would come into place in NSW after a shuttle bus driver for airline crew returned a positive COVID test on Wednesday.
Three positive cases were detected in NSW on Wednesday, breaking a two-week streak of no community transmission in that state.
A 45-year-old man who works as a van driver shuttling airline crew between Sydney Airport and their accommodation tested positive on Wednesday and genomic sequencing is expected to today reveal whether the driver contracted the virus from an international crew member.
Discussions between Victoria and NSW over recent days have focused on tightening airport for all international arrivals at Sydney airport, as well as more rigour needed around quarantine requirements for air cabin crew.
“It’s not a criticism,” Mr Andrews said. “We’re very keen to make sure that we tighten that up, and that’s got to be done nationally.”
Two of the three new NSW cases were ‘mystery’ cases with no known source – a man and woman in Sydney’s northern beaches who are close contacts with one another.
Mr Andrews said the re-emergence of mystery cases for any state was a challenge, he was confident NSW authorities would be able to contain an outbreak.
“Just like the South Australian authorities, just like we do, they’ll all be working very hard and our public health team will be there to assist them if they need any help.”
The driver developed symptoms on Saturday but did not get tested until Tuesday, sparking concerns he may have exposed others. His wife and two children returned negative results.
A Victorian government spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday that it was in discussions with the Commonwealth and other states including NSW about quarantine arrangements for airline crews.
“Following this latest case in Sydney we’ll continue our advocacy but we need a bipartisan approach and will continue to raise this issue with the Commonwealth and at national cabinet, as well as advocating for pre-flight testing for anyone entering Australia,” she said.
- With Esther Han, Jenny Noyes and Kate Aubusson
Rachael Dexter is a breaking news reporter at The Age.