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Saturday, June 03 2023

Australia fines int’l aircrew for breaching Covid-19 rules

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aus rules 18122020Canberra: Australian officials confirmed on Friday that members of an international airline crew who arrived in Sydney from South America earlier this month have been fined for allegedly breaching local Covid-19 rules.

Thirteen members of the crew were each issued with a A$1,000 ($760) fine for failing to comply with self-isolation ministerial directions, reports Xinhua news agency.

While air crews are not required to isolate for 14 days as are other international arrivals, they do have to remain isolated from the community until they board an outbound flight.

According to the police in New South Wales (NSW) state, the fine crew members left a hotel where they were supposed to be in temporary quarantine and visited nearby establishments.

News of the fines followed reports on Friday morning that a Covid-19 cluster in Sydney’s north had shot up to 28 positive cases, with genomic testing showing the outbreak originated overseas.

The crew members who received the fines were tested for the virus and they all tested negative.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that quarantine measures for international aircrews would be changed including reducing the number of hotel facilities used to house them from over 25 to just two.

“The systems themselves haven’t been the challenge, but it’s been people disobeying,” she said.

“From Tuesday, there’ll be no chance of disobedience, given the police and (NSW) Health will be ensuring that they are located at two places close to the airport,” she added.

The state of NSW currently accounts for 4,666 coronavirus cases and 53 deaths.

Australia has so far reported a total 28,072 cases and 908 fatalities.

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