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Australia reopens borders to New Zealand travellers

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TRAVEL BUBBLE: First flights from NZ to land in Australia today

A spokeswoman for Melbourne Airport said it had also been unable to reach the Victorian DHHS to understand the situation and were therefore unable to comment.

New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said the new corridor for travel to Australia was welcomed, and hoped the bubble would be completed by Christmas.

The federal government has been increasingly putting pressure on Andrews to reopen the city and the state, with Health Minister Greg Hunt saying on Twitter on Saturday that it was time to ease.

"Since we don't have the cards, I can't tell you if you are New Zealand or Australian citizens", he said.

Travellers on the flights are not required to quarantine in Sydney, but the arrangements are not yet reciprocal: New Zealand requires arrivals to be in managed isolation for 14 days, at a cost of $3200.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said restrictions on gatherings and movement were an important part of limiting mystery cases and identifying where they come from.

Mr Andrews said there is no evidence the passengers have deliberately broken any rules.

However, the incumbent Immigration Minister Alan Tudge announced shortly thereafter that the passenger cards had been handed over to Victoria.

Hundreds of New Zealanders have landed in Sydney, marking the first of the trans-Tasman flights to jet in from New Zealand.

Mr Andrews has confirmed Sunday's announcements will be "much more in the social space than in the economic space", dashing the hopes of those in retail and hospitality industries.

"Something went wrong in this system, we shouldn't be part of it [travel bubble] Arrangement". "Other states and territories may be added at a later date".

"They need to be briefed on those things so they are doing the right thing".

When asked if Victoria should consider closing its internal borders, Andrews said he did not want to. "Mystery cases are one measure of the fact that yes, there is virus out there that we don't know about and the other point is not everybody gets tested as soon as they should".

Australia's prime minister described the arrival of the country's first worldwide tourists in six months as a turning point.

Initially it was reported that 14 passengers were detained in Melbourne.

He said the police would visit the passengers later today to check on welfare payments.

"Once we're in a position to bring down that ring of steel between metro Melbourne and regional Victoria, then there will be greater freedom of movement within Victoria and then there can be further interstate travel".

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