Fate of Melbourne/Merimbula flights unknown as new rules announced

Fate of Melbourne/Merimbula flights unknown as new rules announced

Regional Express (Rex) flights into Merimbula from Melbourne are in question after tough new measures announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

She said Victorians or NSW residents returning home would now be required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days, and people who have been in Victoria will also only be allowed to travel into a border community or into Sydney Airport.

The new requirements were announced as Victoria reported its worst daily figures - of 725 new cases and 15 deaths - since the start of the pandemic.

These travellers from Victoria, entering NSW will be required to pay for their hotel quarantine, like international arrivals, and rules around border permits will also be further restricted.

ACM asked Rex what the new rules would mean for its flights into Merimbula from Melbourne which arrive every Tuesday and Thursday.

A Rex spokeswoman was unable to say what would happen with the flights, only that it was still being worked out internally.

Previously all passengers were screened prior to boarding and when they disembarked with the isolation requirements re-enforced as detailed in their permit/exemption - people are also swabbed if required, a Southern NSW Local Health District spokesman said.

"The only travellers on these flights are those who are deemed eligible for a travel permit/exemption (e.g.: usual place of residence, essential worker, traveling to fulfil a legal obligation, travel relating to receiving health care etc.),"he added.

It is understood that police have been in attendance at Merimbula airport to meet every flight (currently Tuesdays/Thursdays).