A married couple have apologised for scrambling away from Melbourne Airport after they were told they had to isolate.
Terry Elford, 26, and his 24-year-old wife Debbie fled after they arrived on a flight from Canberra.
They left after they were told that they had to under go a two week coronavirus quarantine, according to reports.
A spokeswoman for Victoria Police told The Herald Sun: “They were spoken to by authorised officers and informed they would be required to quarantine for 14 days as per current directions.
“The pair then ran from the officer, fleeing the airport and were picked up by a vehicle outside.”
The red-faced couple have now offered a sheepish apology and claimed they were confused, News.com.au reported.
Mr Elford wrote in an email: “We really are very sorry for the mess that this has caused.
“Like hundreds of others on 1 January 2021, we got caught up with the confusion when the rules about entering Victoria changed.
“We had a permit, live in a green zone in NSW, were flying from Canberra airport which is allowed, and after we arrived in Tullamarine, we were stopped by DHS officers who were not able to tell us whether or not we needed to quarantine, so after about an hour or so we walked away.”
He said they attended an outdoor BBQ before flying back into Canberra that same afternoon so that Debbie could go to a obstetric appointment on Tuesday.
Mr Alford said they were “shocked” to see stories about their airport escape and said they had taken tests and contacted police to “sort this out”.
The apology came as Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said the couple would be slapped with a fine.
They will be fined “at least $19,000” for breaching Australia's strict Covid-19 rules.
Mr Foley said: “We have established the link between New South Wales’ cluster and the outbreak in Victoria. We are determined to get on top of it and I know that requires what appears to some people to be tough measures but the virus does not respect state borders."
It comes as New South Wales recorded seven more cases, sparking new restrictions including mandatory masks in indoor settings.
Victoria’s border to NSW is now firmly closed in a bed to stem the outbreak, as Queensland confirmed a case and closed borders.