SriLankan become first international flight to land in Melbourne since July

Victoria’s hotel quarantine program has restarted, with Melbourne Airport welcoming its first international flight in more than five months.

SriLankan Airlines flight UL604 from Colombo landed just before 8am on Monday, the first of eight international passenger flights carrying 253 travellers due to touch down today.

Victoria has not accepted international flights since early July, when it was revealed a number of hotel quarantine workers had contracted COVID-19 from guests.

The outbreaks went on to spark the state’s second wave, which resulted in more than 18,000 infections and 800 deaths.

The state has since recorded 38 consecutive days without a new COVID-19 case.

Victoria Police will take the lead in enforcing the new-look hotel quarantine program, with support from Australian Defence Force personnel.

Eleven airport and CBD hotels will participate, including the Stamford Hotel, one of two hotels where outbreaks occurred in June.

Hotel guests will have to pay about $3500 for their 14-day stay, while fresh-air and exercise breaks will be banned to prevent movement inside hotels. (Courtesy SBS)