Vaccine travel loophole must be closed

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has called on the State Government to close yet another loophole that is allowing people from Melbourne to travel to regional areas.

Ms Britnell said she understands South West Healthcare has turned away 30 people from the Warrnambool Vaccination Hub who had travelled from the Melbourne metro area over the past few days to access a vaccination.

She said while this was allowable under the rules – it didn’t pass the pub test.

“After the conversation I’ve had this morning, it’s becoming clear people are using this loophole to get out of the city and take a drive to rural and regional areas,” Ms Britnell said.

“I don’t think that’s reasonable – there are vaccination centres right across the metro area – there is no reason for people to be travelling 300 kilometres to get the vaccine.

“When you look at the portal there are plenty of appointments available all over Melbourne but regional areas have a limited number of spots available.

“I have calls from constituents almost daily asking when they will be able to get a vaccine appointment locally – people want to be vaccinated and our incredibly high vaccination rates show that.

“Having people travelling from the metro areas not only risks spreading the virus further around the state, it takes away an appointment from a south-west resident.”

Ms Britnell said the State Government needed to close the vaccination loophole and make sure people weren’t unnecessarily travelling huge distances when the state is in lockdown and people are not able to travel more than five kilometres from their homes.


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