Daniel Andrews blasts trans-Tasman COVID-19 bubble as 55 New Zealanders slipped ...

Daniel Andrews has revealed 55 travellers from New Zealand slipped past authorities at Sydney and flew into Victoria - even though the state never agreed to join the trans-Tasman bubble.

The embattled Victorian premier on Sunday confirmed just 23 of those people have been found since he learned of the debacle.

On Friday, New South Wales opened its borders to travellers from New Zealand without the need to quarantine.

But by Saturday authorities informed Victoria that 17 people caught a connecting flight into Melbourne, where borders are not shut to domestic travellers despite the state grappling with a second wave of COVID-19.

That number has since been inflated to 55. 

Mr Andrews said his concern is not necessarily that these people will bring coronavirus into Victoria, but that the government wasn't made aware of their arrival.

Emotional reunions took place throughout the day as friends, family and lovers reunited with hugs and kisses at Sydney Airport

Emotional reunions took place throughout the day as friends, family and lovers reunited with hugs and kisses at Sydney Airport

'No one is alleging that the virus is high in New Zealand,' he said on Sunday. 

'It's not. What was concerning that a bunch of people turned up, we didn't know about it. Turned from 17 to 20 to 23 now to 50 something.'

Mr Andrews said he has no plans to close his state, but took aim at the federal government over its 'gold standard' trans-Tasman bubble. 

'We got given a list 12 hours after they arrived, that's gold standard apparently. We're having to find these people,' he said.

In one instance, Mr Andrews said the government's tracing proved wrong, and that a passenger who he was told had flown to Melbourne was actually in Byron Bay.  

'My advice to Minister Tudge is instead of stubbornly defending this, work with us and let's make sure Victoria's not part of a bubble that we never agreed to be in.'

Mr Andrews insisted he wasn't looking to 'quarrel' with any federal ministers on the matter, and simply wanted it resolved. 

He clarified to reporters that he would not close the borders to returning New Zealanders in the coming days, but wanted to know if they were arriving in the state to ensure they were aware of the rules.

Dan Andrews has blasted Australian Border Force officials for a massive trans-Tasman blunder that allowed 17 New Zealand nationals to fly into Melbourne

Dan Andrews has blasted Australian Border Force officials for a massive trans-Tasman blunder that allowed 17 New Zealand nationals to fly into Melbourne

Passengers were greeted with a sign that read 'we've missed you' as they made their way through the terminal to their loved ones

Passengers were greeted with a sign that read 'we've missed you' as they made their way through the terminal to their loved ones

How New Zealanders were able to slip into Victoria 

Victoria is the only state in Australia that hasn't introduced any domestic border closures for the duration of the pandemic.

While other states have banned Victorians from arriving and encouraged residents not to travel to the embattled state, domestic travellers have been able to fly into Melbourne. 

When New South Wales and the Northern Territory negotiated the first stages of the trans-Tasman bubble, it was agreed that anybody from New Zealand would be able to travel to those two regions without having to quarantine for two weeks on arrival.

On Friday, the first three flights arrived at Sydney airport.

But by Saturday, Premier Daniel Andrews learned that 17 international travellers had then boarded a connecting flight onto Melbourne.

By Sunday, he was told that number was actually closer to 55.

So far, his team of contact tracers have found 23 of the passengers at 16 addresses in Victoria.

But he has also spoken to another passenger, who he was told boarded the flight to Melbourne, who swore she was actually in Byron Bay, prompting concerns that the information he received wasn't necessarily accurate.

Mr Andrews made it clear that he does not think the passengers legally did anything wrong, but said he was not informed that Victoria would be put in a position where they would receive international travellers.

He said on Sunday that he hopes to discuss the matter further and create an easier avenue for connecting with New Zealand nationals who are planning on travelling into Victoria. 

'I've got no power to stop them coming here. They will come... I think we can be confident that we will be having a chat with them and they will be welcomed,' he said on Sunday.

'It is just a matter of we have to go through a process and have visibility of who is coming. I don't think that's too much for us to ask.' 

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'I've got no power to stop them coming here. They will come... I think we can be confident that we will be having a chat with them and they will be welcomed.

'It is just a matter of we have to go through a process and have visibility of who is coming. I don't think that's too much for us to ask.'

Mr Andrews said Prime Minister Scott Morrison had thanked him several

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