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Overseas Travellers Filmed Ignoring Social Distancing Rules At Airport

Hundreds of travellers were filmed packing out Sydney Airport’s international arrivals on Thursday as they waited to pass through border security – many not following social distancing rules.

Many of the passengers in the footage do not appear to be wearing protective masks, and most did not stand 1.5 metres apart.

Hundreds of passengers stood close together at Sydney Airport. Image: Twitter

Sally Prosser claimed on twitter when Australian Border Force officials were asked about social distancing at screening the response was "not our problem".

The ABF told 10 daily the safety of the community is "everyone's responsibility".

"The Australian Border Force remains on the front line of Australia’s borders and ensures public safety is upheld at all times," it told 10 daily.

"The ABF continues to encourage all passengers to adhere to social distancing guidelines while disembarking and clearing customs and immigration."

According to NSW Health, of the 1,129 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, at least 647 infections were contracted overseas.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said on Thursday that the majority of COVID-19 cases in Australia are related to overseas travellers returning home.

"The number of people returning to Australia is now almost entirely Australian citizens and permanent residents, and that is decreasing every day," he said.

"But we're still having several thousand people, per day, coming back from these places where the epidemic is much more difficult and many more cases than we have here in Australia."

Many passengers did not appear to be wearing protective masks in the footage. Image: Twitter

Sydney Airport told 10 daily its ongoing response has been "guided" by up-to-date advice from health authorities.

Health messages are being rolled out across terminal screens, signs reminding travellers to keep a 1.5-metre distance between them have been positioned in high traffic areas, and signs informing arrivals of their obligation to self-isolate are measures the airport have recently taken.

“Our priority in any crisis is the health and safety of our people and that of everyone who comes to the airport," a spokesperson said.

"We are supporting federal and state government agencies as they conduct health assessments and roll out passenger information campaigns regarding self-isolation and social distancing.

"We have also deployed security personnel in the terminals reminding people of their obligations.”

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