A purpose-built quarantine facility could be built at Melbourne Airport under a state government plan to combat the “hyper-infectious” UK strain of COVID-19.
Premier Daniel Andrews this morning said that the government was looking at alternative models of mandatory quarantine outside of Melbourne’s CBD.
Mr Andrews described Melbourne and Avalon airports as two “standout candidates” for the quarantine hub.
The Linfox Group, which operates Avalon Airport, has already approached the government about building a quarantine facility at the airport.
Mr Andrews said he was grateful for the partnership the government has with both airports and the work they have already done on the proposal.
He said it was too early to say where a quarantine facility would be based at Melbourne Airport.
The centre would serve to replace at least a significant number of the inner city hotels that are currently being used for hotel quarantine.
Mr Andrews said the facility would be largely based on the Howard Springs quarantine facility in the Northern Territory, revealing plans to send a Victorian delegation to the Northern Territory to examine the facility.
A Melbourne Airport spokesperson said a lot of work would need to be done before any facility could be built at the airport.
“We understand the government is interested in investigating possible alternatives to hotel quarantine arrangements. We support any measures that could reduce the risk of COVID in Australia.
“While Melbourne Airport has a large land bank, significant work would need to be undertaken to assess whether a facility to the governments standards could be developed on airport land, what approvals would be required from commonwealth and state governments, and in what timeframe any of this could be delivered.”