Thousands of overseas travellers land in Australia without any temperature checks or questions about their health – as foreigners touch down minutes before the borders close
- Australia shut its borders to foreigners on Friday 9pm amid COVID-19 pandemic
- Australians returning home said there was no tests done to check for the virus
- Many said they were made to fill out a form before beginning 14 days isolation
- Some foreigners were able to land in Australia just minutes before the travel ban
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
As Australia prepared to close its borders to all foreign citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of travellers returned home without so much as a temperature check.
It was elbow taps and air kisses instead of hugs for those arriving at Sydney Airport on Friday as they prepare to spend the next 14 days in isolation.
But these travellers clad in face masks said no measures were taken on flights to avoid the spread of the killer disease and were only made to fill out a form with their address and passport number.
Many said they didn’t know how the two week quarantine would be policed with one couple even planning to go on a camping trip.
At 9pm on Friday, Australia closed its borders to all non-citizens but some lucky travellers managed to land in the country just minutes before the cut-off time.
Travellers are seen arriving at Sydney international Airport on Friday night as the country places bans on all foreign visitors
Two friends are seen hugging after one arrives from Frankfurt just two hours before the borders close
A couple kiss after arriving at Sydney Airport on Friday night amid the coronavirus pandemic
One passenger was seen arriving with a face mask and gloves on
Australian couple Linda and Max who had been holidaying in Bali said the only measures taken on board their flight was spraying the overhead luggage area.
‘There was hardly anything. The staff sprayed the baggage area and we weren’t able to re-use cups but that was it,’ Linda told Daily Mail Australia.
When asked what their plans were for the two week isolation period, the couple had another trip in mind.
‘We don’t really know what we are allowed to do. We were thinking of going camping,’ Linda said.
Other travellers that had just landed said passengers seemed more concerned with the disease than staff did.
A father hugs his daughter as he arrives at Sydney’s international terminal hours before the travel ban begins
Australians waiting for loved ones at the airport are seen clad in face masks
Face masks were the most popular accessory at the airport as thousands of Australians returned home
One couple arrived at the international airport early on Friday night wearing face masks
‘Some (passengers) were wearing the full on hazmat suits,’ Jessica who had landed from England said.
‘Some of the staff had masks on but there wasn’t anything else.’
Jessica who had been travelling with a friend said her brother was left at the check-in back in England because their flight was due to arrive past the 9pm cut-off.
‘He’s just stuck there. They told him he wasn’t allowed to board the plane,’ she said.
Other foreigners managed to touch down just in the knick of time.
Alida Ansue Esono, a 20-year-old Australian was nearly in tears after her mother walked through the arrival gates with just ten minutes to spare.
Her 56-year-old mother was meant to arrive from the Equatorial Guinea in Africa last weekend but had been stuck in Frankfurt Airport since Saturday after borders closed.
She miraculously was put on the last flight back to Australia, landing at 8.50pm.
‘I’m so relieved. I didn’t know if she was coming through the gates or not because I couldn’t see her,’ Ms Ansue Esono said.
Her friend, Angela Chan, who was with her at the airport said the family had gone through a traumatic time.
‘She’s been in transit since Saturday. She’s been stuck at Frankfurt airport where she’s had to pay 400 euros for every six hours spent,’ Ms Chan said.
‘We are very happy to finally have her home.’
Some people waiting for their loved ones to arrive had face masks ready to hand to them
Airline staff are seen wearing face masks and gloves as they make their way through the airport
Children wearing face masks hug their mother upon landing in Sydney on Friday night
Two women arrive in Australia wearing face masks on Friday night
Loved ones break the social distancing rule as they hug each other upon their arrivals