SA travellers were beside themselves as they were told mid-flight they would have to turn around immediately or pay for two weeks’ quarantine.
The passengers — who included a jewellery tycoon and a grandmother who hadn’t seen her grandchildren for a year — were excited to make the trip, with the border opening just 48 hours earlier.
But as the flight took off, three locally transmitted cases were announced in South Australia, forcing Western Australia to slam its border shut — even to those already en route.
Camera IconPeople were seen waiting for flights at Adelaide Airport after new border restrictions came into place. Credit: News Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire/David MariuzCamera IconInbound travellers check in through quarantine at Adelaide Airport after new border restrictions came into place. Credit: News Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire/David Mariuz
South Australian businessman Albert Bensimon, who was on a Perth-bound flight, told NCA NewsWire a few people “broke out in tears” when they heard the news.
“I don’t think they either had the money to fly back or to pay for quarantine for 14 days or perhaps they were unhappy they couldn’t see their loved ones,” the Shiels Jewellers owner said.
“We booked a return flight almost as we were landing. Prices jumped but we didn’t care. We just wanted to get back home.”