Vic passengers opt for hotel quarantine

·3-min read

Dozens of passengers on a Perth to Melbourne flight with a COVID-19 infected man have entered hotel quarantine, as thousands of other Victorians self-isolate at home.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Monday confirmed all 260 passengers, air and ground crew linked to last Wednesday's Qantas flight QF778 have been contacted by authorities.

Some 216 have tested negative for COVID-19 in Victoria, with the remainder now in other states.

According to Professor Sutton's daily COVID-19 report, those interstate have been "formally referred to the relevant health authorities for their ongoing management".

All those aboard the flight have been instructed to self-isolate for 14 days, after potentially coming into contact with the 45-year-old Burwood man, who picked up the virus in hotel quarantine at Perth's Mercure Hotel.

The outbreak sparked a three-day lockdown of the Perth and Peel region, which is due to come to an end at midnight.

The man's close contacts - his spouse, two children and one child's friend - have tested negative along with all 10 airport staff potentially exposed to the case.

Victoria's COVID-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar said 38 people from the flight have decided to go into hotel quarantine for the safety of those they live with or themselves.

Mr Weimar said most of the 15,000 people currently isolating in Victoria were interstate returnees from WA awaiting test results.

He also defended the 13-hour delay in receiving the QF778 flight manifest, saying it was a federal matter.

Mr Weimar said Victorian health authorities learned the man tested positive at 2am on Friday and didn't received the manifest until 3pm.

"We have been - as we always are - proactive, prompt and swift with information through a range of different channels," he said.

"As soon as we have the information and we're clear it's accurate, we get it out there."

Health authorities sent messages to all passengers on Friday afternoon but on Sunday resorted to knocking on doors for those who hadn't picked up the phone.

Roads Minister Ben Carroll is confident all outstanding test results from the group will be returned within the next 48 hours.

It comes as new Department of Transport data shows mask use has slipped on Melbourne trains and trams, despite them remaining mandatory.

Over the past three months to April, mask compliance on metropolitan trains and trams has fallen across morning, off peak and afternoon times.

The most noticeable decline has come during afternoon periods, with just 68 per cent of train passengers and 65 per cent of tram users wearing a mask.

Mr Carroll doesn't believe the drop-off is intentional, although he reminded commuters the mask mandate is here to stay.

"We know it's an airborne virus," he told reporters.

"We've done so well on the public transport network (with) next to no transmission but we can't rest on our laurels."

Victoria recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday from 12,680 test results, marking 59 days without any community transmission in the state.

There were just over 500 jabs administered in the state on Sunday after Mr Weimar said it was the "duty" of Victorians aged over 70 to be vaccinated.

"It was a heavy word and I apologise ... if it landed the wrong way," he said on Monday.

MASK COMPLIANCE ON METRO TRAINS AND TRAMS DURING AM, OFF PEAK AND PM TIMES

TRAINS

* November-December: 86 per cent, 87 per cent, 89 per cent

* January-March: 74 per cent, 79 per cent, 68 per cent

TRAMS

* November-December: 77 per cent, 87 per cent, 83 per cent

* January-March: 78 per cent, 84 per cent, 65 per cent