Confusion continues to surround the quarantine rules for people who travelled from Canberra to Victoria on New Year's Day, with some people ordered into isolation while others are granted freedom.
Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services has repeatedly refused to confirm whether or not people who made the trip on January 1 are required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, amid numerous reports of conflicting advice from authorities.
The department would only confirm, via an emailed statement on Monday, that "people travelling from the ACT on January 1 were allowed to enter Victoria and not have to test and isolate prior to the test result coming back".
It did not respond to The Canberra Times' repeated requests to clarify if that meant New Year's Day travellers were exempt from a fortnights' quarantine.
The department has confirmed that Canberrans can travel to Victoria quarantine-free using a special transit permit.
That permit wasn't available on January 1, meaning people from Canberra were forced to apply for a generic permit for people returning to Victoria from regional NSW.
The online permit required people to declare that they would self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival at their destination. Canberra travellers had believed that requirement didn't apply to them because of assurances from Victorian COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar on December 31.
People received conflicting advice at the border, before all permit holders received a message from DHHS late on Saturday night ordering them to quarantine.
The Canberra Times is aware of some people who made the Canberra-Victoria on January 1, and have now been told by DHHS that they do not need to self-isolate.
However, other people remained stuck in quarantine on Monday after the department advised them that Canberra travellers weren't exempt from the rules.
Alexei Trundle, who is in self-isolation in Melbourne after travelling from Canberra on January 1, described the past three days as a "rollercoaster".
His family left Canberra expecting to have to quarantine after crossing the border on Friday, so he was surprised when police at the border checkpoint advised him that wouldn't need to.
Mr Trundle said it was a "cruel kick in the guts" when, back in Melbourne on Saturday night, he received the DHHS text message ordering him to self-isolate.
The department confirmed the advice was correct when he called its hotline on Sunday, he said. Mr Trundle said that when he asked the operator to escalate his query, he was told he might not receive a response for up to week.
The Canberra Times has heard from other people who contacted DHHS on Sunday and were told they didn't need to self-isolate.
Mr Trundle joked that after enduring Melbourne's harsh coronavirus lockdown he was used to being housebound.
But while acknowledging the Victorian government was grappling with a fast-moving situation, he wished travellers had been provided a "bit more clear messaging".
"We were given a bit of false hope," he said.