Confirmation today that the current Delta variant of COVID-19 was leaked from Victoria’s hotel quarantine is yet another failure of a broken system under the Andrews Labor Government.

Genomic testing matched the coronavirus strain identified in the West Melbourne cluster to an arrival from Sri Lanka who entered Melbourne’s hotel quarantine on May 8, with Acting Premier James Merlino admitting the State Government has “no definitive understanding” of how or when this variant leaked from hotel quarantine.

Under the Andrews Labor Government, Victoria’s hotel quarantine program has gone through four management overhauls, been suspended three times, caused the catastrophic second wave that resulted in the deaths of 801 people and now has been responsible for a third lockdown.   

In stark contrast, New South Wales has returned almost four times as many travellers, had fewer than a quarter of total infections and less than a third days in lockdown when compared to Victoria.

Daniel Andrews must stop his go-it-alone approach to hotel quarantine, implement New South Wales’ effective quarantine model in Victoria and ensure an end to his government’s catastrophic failings, COVID leaks and lockdowns.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Crime Prevention, David Southwick:

“Time and again, Labor’s hotel quarantine program has failed Victorians and placed the safety of the community at risk.

“Under Labor, hotel quarantine is a ticking time bomb allowing leak after leak and causing lockdown after lockdown.

“A new facility alone won’t fix old problems if the same people are in charge and the Andrews Labor Government must swallow their pride and implement the successful New South Wales model in Victoria.

“It’s time for the Andrews Labor Government to stop the blame game and be accountable for its mistakes in hotel quarantine.”