Peta Credlin has called for returning travellers from Victoria to quarantined in hotels to prevent another COVID-19 outbreak in NSW
Peta Credlin has taken aim at Dan Andrews over the handling of hotel quarantine after it emerged a ‘handful’ of breaches among security guards may have contributed to the latest outbreak.
The whole of Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire north of the city will be placed back into lockdown for six weeks from 11.59pm on Wednesday after Victoria recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus – its worst figure yet.
The move comes after it was revealed there were several blunders within the hotel quarantine procedure, including allegations that security guards were having sex with the guests.
Other allegations include security firms engaging in ‘ghosting’ – a practice which involves inflating the amount of guards listed on duty to charge the government and taxpayer more for their services.
Mr Andrews has launched an inquiry into the matter.
Ms Credlin, Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, has accused Mr Andrews of ‘hiding behind the inquiry’.
She said the issues stemmed directly from the Premier.
‘This is incompetence and complacency starting right at his desk,’ she told 2GB.
‘Victoria, unlike anywhere else, has put bozos at the front door as opposed to the military,’ Ms Credlin said.
Anyone arriving to Sydney from Melbourne has been asked to self-isolate for 14 days in a bid to stop the virus spreading through NSW (pictured: passengers arrive in the baggage reclaim hall at Sydney Airport on one of the last flights out of Melbourne to Sydney)
International travellers are forced to undergo 14-days in hotel quarantine (pictured: a bus waits to pick up guests who were in quarantine departing the Swissotel in Sydney)
Ms Credlin said the second lockdown could spell the end for a number of small business owners who were still struggling after the first lockdown in March.
During the past few weeks Victoria has been slowly easing restrictions, allowing more businesses to reopen after the forced shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
After the state recorded 191 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday – the biggest daily increase since the outbreak began, the decision was made to plunge 5.2million people in greater Melbourne back into lockdown for six weeks.
Ms Credlin said the second lockdown was worse than the first because ‘we’ve done it to ourselves’.
She said the first lockdown was easier to accept as it was a global problem.
She has urged NSW to implement tougher restrictions for travellers returning to the state from Victoria, warning the state economy at risk if there is another outbreak.
Anyone arriving to Sydney from Melbourne has been asked to self-isolate for 14 days in a bid to stop the virus spreading through NSW.
Ms Credlin said returning travellers from Victoria should be forced to quarantine in hotels. She said trusting travellers to self-isolate was a ‘glaring hole’ in the approach.
The whole of Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire north of the city will be placed back into lockdown for six weeks from 11.59pm on Wednesday after Victoria recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus – its worst figure yet. Pictured is a map showing the suburbs in lockdown
Under pressure: Premier Daniel Andrews announced a fresh lockdown for Melbourne. Residents were only allowed out of their homes for five weeks before being told to stay inside once more
She said anyone crossing the state border should be treated the same as international travellers, meaning the stay in hotel quarantine for two weeks to ensure they don’t break the rules.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 8,755
New South Wales: 3,433
Western Australia: 621
South Australia: 443
Australian Capital Territory: 108
Northern Territory: 30
TOTAL CASES: 8,755
‘That’s the whole reason we have hotel quarantining because self-isolating doesn’t work,’ she said.
‘Why take the risk? No one else is taking the risk.’
Queensland introduced tougher restrictions for anyone travelling from Victoria to stop the virus spreading through the state.
Anyone returning from Victoria must hotel quarantine at their own expense for 14 days.
Ms Credlin, who lives in Melbourne, said she did not understand why NSW was taking the risk.
‘You do not want to be where Victoria is. The entire place…five millions Victorians, will go back into a hell they’ve only just emerged from.’
Four of Victoria’s new cases on Tuesday related to an outbreak among emergency department staff at Northern Hospital Epping, which now totals eight staff and one household contact.
The emergency department remains open with a temporary reduction in non-urgent elective surgery and outpatient appointments.
A new case has also been confirmed in a staff member at the Assisi aged care facility in Rosanna, in Melbourne’s north-east.
The staff member did not work while infectious and widespread testing of staff and residents at the facility began on Tuesday.
Tasmanians Zoe Storm and Finn Colley , both 21, are unsure when they will be able to return home as Melbourne is placed into a six-week lockdown
A group of travellers wearing face masks arriving from Melbourne rush to the baggage reclaim hall to collect their luggage
Qantas and Jetstar flights QF490 and JQ530 were the final two from Melbourne allowed to land in the Harbour City on Tuesday
Meanwhile, residents of the nine locked-down housing commission towers in Melbourne said they feel let down by a lack of communication, food and supplies.
Some have complained they have had to go hungry because officials have not brought them enough to eat.
The Melbourne Public Tenants Association, on behalf of the residents in the Flemington and North Melbourne estates, say residents have been left in the dark since the state government’s hard lockdown was enforced on Saturday.
In a letter to the federal Acting Chief Medical Officer, Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services, Premier Andrews and Victoria Police, the association describes how residents were forced to wait 24 hours for food and other essentials like baby formula, nappies and medication.
When the food arrived it was ‘at best, questionable pre-packaged meat-like food items that do not look suitable for human consumption’.
‘Furthermore, the delivery of the food was tossed to the floor on a single piece of paper in front of the residents’ apartment doors in small portions of one food item per household,’ the letter said.
One carpet-cleaner described the conditions as ‘worse than prison’ because residents are not allowed outside.
As Victoria battles a snowballing outbreak, NSW reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday from 9,746 tests, including a man who tested negative in hotel quarantine before returning home to Newcastle on Sunday and developing respiratory symptoms. He and his close contacts have been placed into isolation.
The other six cases were in travellers in hotel quarantine. Two probable coronavirus cases are being investigated in the Albury area after returning positive results on preliminary testing in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.
Health officials said the two cases were undergoing further testing but had not yet been included in the state’s confirmed case load.
MELBOURNE’S SECOND LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The six-week lockdown starts at 11.59pm on Wednesday.
AREAS BACK UNDER STAGE THREE RESTRICTIONS:
Metropolitan Melbourne covering 30 Local Government Areas – Banyule, Hume, Moreland, Bayside, Kingston, Mornington Peninsula, Boroondara, Knox, Nillumbik, Manningham, Port Phillip, Cardinia, Maribyrnong, Stonnington, Casey, Maroondah, Whitehorse, Darebin, Melbourne, Whittlesea, Frankston, Melton, Wyndham, Glen Eira, Monash, Yarra, Greater Dandenong, Moonee Valley, Yarra Ranges, Hobsons Bay.
Mitchell Shire which includes the towns of Broadford, Kilmore, Seymour, Tallarook, Pyalong and Wallan.
WHAT WILL CLOSE AGAIN:
* Community sport
* Indoor sports and recreation including arenas and stadiums
* Swimming pools, saunas and bathhouses
* Food courts
* Indoor and outdoor cinemas
* Casino and gaming
* Brothels and strip clubs
* Beauty and personal care services
* Holiday accommodation and camping
* Play centres and playgrounds
* Galleries, museums and zoos
VISTORS AND PUBLIC GATHERINGS:
* No visitors allowed in homes
* Public gatherings and exercise can only be with immediate household or two people
ALLOWED OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES:
* Fishing and boating
* Tennis, golf and surfing
OPEN FOR BUSINESS:
* Retail subject to density
* Markets for food and drink only
* Cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars return to takeaway only
* Return to remote auctions
* Inspections by appointment only
* Visits allowed
SECOND PLACE OF RESIDENCE:
* No visits outside the restricted areas – subject to conditions
* Can be completed by those already on holiday
* No new holiday travel from 11.59pm on July 8
* Ten people, plus those conducting the funeral
* Five people (couple, witnesses and celebrant)
* Broadcast only.