Travellers from NZ caught entering Melbourne

Melbourne is battling a fresh spike in Covid cases. Photo: Getty Images
International arrivals are not permitted in Victoria. Photo: Getty Images
More Australians are preparing to arrive home next week after being stuck overseas because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The nation's quarantine capacity has been expanded after the federal government and the Northern Territory reached a deal that allows a mining camp south of Darwin to be used for returned travellers.

Eight Qantas repatriation flights will arrive from London, New Delhi and Johannesburg over coming weeks.

More than 29,000 Australians are trying to come home, with about 3000 considered vulnerable.

Those deemed vulnerable will have first priority for the flights.

The quarantine deal will stretch until March, allowing up to 5000 people to see out their 14 days' mandatory isolation at the Howard Springs facility.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that would be in addition to the 5500 or so hotel quarantine places each week.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has accused the government of taking too long to help bring people home, saying there were plenty of free planes and empty hotels.

"It's not rocket science to try and put those two things together," he said.

The first flights from New Zealand arrived in Australia on Friday, with Kiwis now able to fly to the ACT, the NT and NSW without undergoing quarantine.

However the scheme quickly ran into problems after some passengers who arrived in Sydney from NZ are understood to have flown on to Melbourne, where they were detained.

International arrivals are not permitted in Victoria.

Meanwhile Mr Morrison said the government was looking at ways to allow students and business travellers to arrive from other countries.

He again urged Western Australia and Queensland to lift their borders, arguing it could result in people in those states becoming over-confident and ignoring social distancing.

"You may forget the virus but, I can tell you, the virus won't forget you," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney.

Victoria recorded just two new coronavirus infections on Friday and no deaths, as Melburnians wait to find out which restrictions will ease on Sunday.

NSW had one locally transmitted case, as authorities continue to urge people to get tested after clusters grew during the week.

Meanwhile, national cabinet won't meet until next Friday after Mr Morrison blamed flight difficulties for preventing him from arriving in Sydney in time for the scheduled leaders' meeting.

Federal, state and territory leaders have not linked up to discuss Australia's coronavirus response for more than a month.

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