'As silly as it gets': Health Minister slams traveller with symptoms who journeyed interstate

Olivia Lambert
·News Editor
·3-min read

The NSW health minister has blasted a person who travelled from Victoria to NSW while displaying coronavirus symptoms.

Brad Hazzard told reporters on Thursday health staff found out the person got on a train to travel interstate to Sydney after they underwent a test for COVID-19.

“Now, that’s about as silly as it gets,” Mr Hazzard said.

“So the message goes out again – 99.999 per cent of the community are with us on this, but every now and then we find somebody who just doesn’t either understand or is prepared to thumb their nose at the rules.

NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard has an angry expression on his face as he stands outside.
NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard has warned Victorians from coronavirus hotspots not to come to the state. Source: AAP

“Just saying – we all need to be in this together. So please, I appreciate there are pressures on everything when you’ve got obligations to family or to work and so on, but right now, your obligation really should be to the whole community.

“Please don’t go out, don’t travel if you have any symptoms at all. But if you have symptoms sufficient enough to go and have a test, don’t go travelling anywhere on public transport.

“That really is completely unacceptable.”

Eight new coronavirus cases in NSW

Mr Hazzard said as of 8pm on Wednesday just eight new coronavirus cases were detected in NSW, with all new infections among returning overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

He applauded the number of tests being undertaken in the state, with almost a million conducted since the COVID-19 pandemic began in January.

Mr Hazzard said new public health orders were now in place as of midnight on Thursday, with people from Victoria’s coronavirus hotspots warned not to travel to NSW.

Pictured is an example of a Victorian number plate.
NSW Police are urged to look out for Victorian number plates that may be from coronavirus hotspots. Source: AAP

“Anybody who travels to NSW runs the risk – first of all, they run the risk from their own government of being caught ... and secondly, if they attempt to cross into NSW to travel anywhere in NSW, they’re at risk of six months’ jail or an $11,000 fine if police choose to charge them,” he said.

“A brief message remains from the NSW government to travellers or people who think they can travel from the hotspots of Victoria – just don’t come. Don’t come.”

Mr Hazzard warned public health staff would be deployed at airports across NSW to ensure people were not visiting from the hotspots.

“Of course, people from Victoria are entitled, if they don’t come from the hotspots, to enter NSW and it’s important to commence trade and for our respective economies – Victoria, NSW and indeed the rest of Australia. It’s important that people be able to travel from other spots other than these hotspots that are in Melbourne.”

But Mr Hazzard said people visiting NSW from Victoria would undergo health screening at airports, while police have been asked to keep an eye out for Victorian number plates on highways.

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