V/LINE passengers would be denied travel from Melbourne to the North East if they recorded elevated temperatures from a compulsory platform check if a North-East MP had his way.
The drastic measured is aimed at stopping cornonavirus re-entering the region with Albury Wodonga Health also issuing a request to residents from COVID-19 Melbourne hotspots contemplating a school holiday escape to stay at home.
The Border Mail has obtained a copy of letter sent to transport infrastructure minister Jacinta Allan from member for Benambra Bill Tilley seeking her support to "broaden COVID-19 testing" on V/Line North-East services.
"The recent spike in Melbourne suburbs, including Broadmeadows, a frequent interchange for North East travellers connecting with the Melbourne Airport, has been the catalyst to fears that school holiday commuters could carry COVID-19 into a region that has been coronavirus free for three months," Mr Tilley wrote.
"It is my understanding that earlier this week V/Line began temperature testing staff prior to their shift.
"I understand that passengers are not tested at this stage.
"While testing staff provides some confidence for commuters, I believe it should be expanded to include passengers before they too board the train."
AWH's pandemic response director Sally Squire said her message to Melbourne hotspot area residents planning a school holiday get-away was simple.
"My advice would be please stay home," she said.
"We're all working hard to keep our communities and our state safe by abiding by those public health messages.
"But I encourage everybody at this time to really consider their travel plans about how they move around the state."
IN OTHER NEWS
The Albury-Wodonga region has been virus free for three months, but the cross-border health service confirmed local testing rates since the extension of the state of emergency last weekend were out-stripping those at the onset of the pandemic in March.
Yarrawonga-Mulwala Tourism and Business executive officer Noel Wright confirmed one accommodation provider in the twin towns was actively discouraging Melbourne hotspot residents from visiting the area this weekend.
"We are caught between trying to get some dollars back into this area and not infecting this area," he said.
"It's a tough one."
Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton has advised Victorians can travel during the school holidays on the proviso they are not sick.
"With school holidays fast approaching, it is important for all Victorians to remain vigilant and not go away for the holidays if they or a family member is unwell," a department spokesperson said.
"The chief health officer advice is clear.
"By limiting the number of people moving around our state we can limit the spread of the virus."