A Victorian family has been forced to quarantine in Queensland after taking a shuttle bus to Melbourne Airport, unaware it would be considered as a COVID hotspot.
Aaron Rutter and his wife and their four-month-old baby drove from Traralgon to a parking service outside Melbourne Airport and took the provided shuttle bus service to the terminal.
Upon arriving in Cairns on Wednesday, Mr Rutter said they were told that unlike the airport, the shuttle bus counted as entering a hotspot.
"[We were told] you have to quarantine at your own expense now, 'we'll grab your bags, escort you onto a bus and we'll take you to a hotel'."
Mr Rutter said he had since spoken to the director of the parking company, who told him it was the traveller's responsibility to know the use of the shuttle bus would mean they could not enter Queensland without entering quarantine.
"There's nothing on the website to indicate that, and they did not mention to us at any stage when they took our ID or payment," Mr Rutter said.
"We can't have been the first people to have been pulled up for it."
He said the family had tested negative to COVID since arriving in Cairns but their application for an exemption had been rejected.
"It's very frustrating, very, very upsetting, and I don't know what else I can do."
If he had known using the service would mean mandatory quarantine, he would not have travelled to Cairns, he said.
"Now we've just wasted a heap of money. I'll be wasting my leave and all for nothing."
Hotspots and public transport
Queensland's Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, said because the variants currently detected in southern states were so highly contagious, the shuttle bus could be a place for transmission.
"Going onto a shuttle bus is actually quite a risk because the other people on that shuttle bus were from Melbourne," Dr Young said.
"I have been saying for the last 18 months that when you're in an area that is not a hotspot and you need to travel through an airport that is in a hotspot, you need to go directly — not on public transport.
"A shuttle bus is public transport.
"It's very unfortunate for this family, but they will need to be in quarantine.
"Of course they can make the decision to leave and return back to Victoria if they choose to do so."
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/melbourne-airport-shuttle-bus-ride-lands-traralgon-family-in-cairns-covid-quarantine/ar-AALaECJ446