Shellharbour councillor Kellie Marsh has criticised Fly Corporate's attempt to continue flying Melbourne passengers in to Shellharbour Airport, saying she believes "the public's health needs to come first". The regional airline operator said on Wednesday that it would be seeking permission from the state government to continue flying in Victorian passengers, after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced people who had been in Victoria would only be allowed to travel into Sydney Airport from Friday midnight. Cr Marsh said she had empathy for the airline, whose operations have been badly affected during the pandemic, but said she did not think business interest should be put before health risks. "Whilst I feel empathetic to Fly Corporate and all [passenger flight] providers, I feel that the public health of residents of NSW, Shellharbour and the Illawarra needs to be paramount," she said. "I don't think we've got the capacity to deal with a major outbreak in a regional town, and NSW Health and frontline workers are already pushed to the limit, so centralising flights to Sydney is the right decision. "While we've been having temperature checks with people coming in at Shellharbour, that is not 100 per cent foolproof. I hope NSW Health stands their ground." Cr Marsh posted a poll on an Albion Park community facebook group on Thursday, and within hours had received hundreds of responses with the majority agreeing with her stance. By mid-afternoon, more than 600 people said they did not think the Shellharbour airport should accept passengers from Melbourne, while about 35 said they did. Mayor Marianne Saliba said she would be happy to support whichever decision was made by NSW Health, which is the ultimate authority on the airport matter. "Ultimately it's a decision for the NSW Government," Cr Saliba said. "During the time that we have had passengers coming in, we've been ensuring that there's a COVID plan in case. As far as I'm aware, we've had no outbreaks linked to the airport." "But I can understand people's concerns, we all fear this virus and what it can do. We know it can really affect the most vulnerable of our community." "I also understand Fly Corporate and their desire or right to apply for an exemption. They were getting a grant to provide regional services - if not providing those regional services, then they wouldn't get that grant." Fly Corporate previously said flights would continue to operate throughout Thursday, with a decision on the company's request expected before the new restrictions kicked in on Friday morning. The Mercury was unable to contact the airline to find out if it had been told of a decision from NSW Health by Thursday afternoon.