Twenty-three people from New Zealand have “jumped across borders” into WA after arriving in Australia under a trans-Tasman travel bubble.
Most of the travellers, who the WA government believes arrived from NSW, are now in mandatory hotel quarantine, while one girl has been placed in a “quarantine arrangement” with a family member.
Premier Mark McGowan first announced on Sunday morning that 25 people had arrived in the state, before the number was officially revised to 23 later in the day.
Mr McGowan said they had been detected through the G2G Pass app and would count towards WA’s weekly international travel cap, meaning some Australians wanting to return home from overseas would miss out.
“There will be 25 people less coming from more vulnerable locations as a consequence of this,” he told reporters on Sunday.
Mr McGowan said he did not know about the citizenship of the travellers.
“I don’t know at this point in time whether they’re New Zealand citizens, or whether they’re Australians who are living in New Zealand, or whether they’re dual citizens,” he said.
The Premier said it was “not an ideal situation” but the state government was trying to manage it.
“We would prefer better management of these arrangements, but this is something that happened that was outside of our control,” he said.
Western Australia Police said in a statement on Sunday evening: “The number of people arriving from New Zealand has now been revised to 23.
“They have been directed to centre quarantine for 14 days and in one case a child has been directed to self-quarantine in suitable premises.
“WA Police will continue to ensure that all incoming travellers are assessed and where approved entry to WA are directed to appropriate quarantine arrangements and conditions.”
It comes after 17 people flew from Sydney to Melbourne after arriving from New Zealand.
The WA government has long asked airlines to provide manifests of passengers to allow for better monitoring and control of organised crime.
Mr McGowan said it would be even more helpful to monitor travellers during the pandemic, adding airlines should check people had permits to travel to WA before boarding.
“We’ve requested that a number of times from the airlines. They have been unwilling at this point in time to do this,” the Premier said.
“Obviously, they want as many customers as they can, so we put our own systems in place.
“We would like better assistance from the commonwealth.”
On Saturday, it was revealed two crew members onboard separate cargo ships tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in WA.
One is from livestock carrier Al Messilah, which is docked in Fremantle with more than 50 people onboard, and he is in hotel quarantine under supervision.
No livestock were currently being loaded, Mr McGowan said.
The other ill person is onboard the iron ore carrier Key Integrity, which is docked in Geraldton but is due to arrive in Fremantle on Monday.
“Both ships will be managed by the state … it’s much easier to manage the ships in Fremantle,” Mr McGowan said.