Direct international flights from New Zealand into Melbourne will be allowed to resume from Monday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Friday that he had written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison that morning confirming the flights could resume on November 9.
“That is direct flights into Tullamarine from New Zealand so that New Zealanders will be able to travel direct to Melbourne and throughout Victoria,” Mr Andrews said.
“While we found ourselves inadvertently in the New Zealand bubble, I’m not sure if bubbles have doors but the front door will now be (open).”
The Premier said the next logical step after Monday would be to reboot hotel quarantine as soon as possible and receive flights with returned overseas travellers.
But he said the government would wait until after they received advice from the Board of Inquiry’s interim report, which was expected to be released at noon on Friday, to make any announcements regarding hotel quarantine.
“We’ll be able to have landing in Melbourne again flights right across the world,” Mr Andrews said.
Melbourne Airport will start receiving international flights again from New Zealand on Monday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew HenshawSource:News Corp Australia
“That will be a challenge though, because as Victoria is reporting very low numbers, Australia is reporting very low numbers, (in) so many parts of the world this virus is completely and utterly out of control.
“The likelihood of people wanting to return into our country, and returning with the virus, is obviously higher than it’s ever been.
“That will be a real challenge but I think we’re equal to it.”
Mr Andrews said New Zealanders would not have to quarantine when they arrived in Melbourne.
“Rather than people coming here via another state, the back door of the bubble, now is the time, because cases are so low, we’re opening up, we can have flights coming from New Zealand direct into our city and state,” he said.
Victoria recorded its seventh straight day of zero new coronavirus cases and no deaths on Friday.
Mr Andrews said it would be up to individual airlines and the airport as to when the first flight would land in Melbourne, but they would be allowed to do so from Monday.
“It may not happen from Monday but that when we’re happy to have it happen,” he said.
“I think Melbourne Airport will be very keen to have those flights land.”
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