Government to self-investigate after Kiwi dodges Perth restrictions
A man made it all the way from Perth to Northland despite travel restrictions – now an investigation is underway as to how. But are the investigators and the respondents the same?
The New Zealand government is investigating itself after a traveler was cleared to fly from Perth to Northland despite travel restrictions, bypassing MIQ.
The man arrived from Perth on April 26, despite last weekend’s travel restrictions in Western Australia.
He made it to New Zealand by taking a domestic flight to Sydney, before crossing the Tasman on Sunday.
Although technically arriving from outside the bubble, the traveler was allowed to continue to Northland, where he is currently self-isolating.
An investigation is underway to find out what went wrong – but those responsible for this loophole may be the same people who are examining it.
New Zealand immigration controls passengers from Perth to New Zealand through other Australian airports.
He became aware of the traveler’s point of origin upon arrival in Auckland, but was allowed to continue his journey to Northland the next day.
New Zealand Immigration (INZ) border official Peter Helms said the late booking of the Sydney-Auckland flight meant he was not alerted in time to arrest the man.
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“Due to the late booking of the Air New Zealand flight, no border alerts were loaded before the flight departed from Sydney,” he said.
INZ is leading the investigation into why the New Zealand citizen – one of many expected to arrive this weekend – was not arrested sooner.
The Department of Health said this should serve as a reminder that the public health response rests on accuracy, saying “the actions of one person could jeopardize non-quarantine travel with Australia for everyone. . “
Travel from Western Australia was cut short over the weekend after community transmission in Perth, attributable to an isolation center in the city.
The government is set to decide whether non-quarantine travel between New Zealand and Western Australia can resume, ahead of a scheduled flight from Perth on Tuesday evening.
The Department of Health has asked anyone who has been to Perth or Peel in the past 10 days to check the list of places of interest – then self-isolate and get tested if they’ve been in one of them.
He also said the risk for New Zealand at the moment was low.