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COVID-19: Australia to slash international arrivals by 4,000 a week

COVID-19: Australia to slash international arrivals by 4,000 a week

Australian Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) has announced after today’s National Cabinet meeting, that the number of international arrivals into Australia will be cut by half, about 4,000 less per week.

Quarantine charges

And – dear passengers, as we predicted, expect to be charged for your quarantine. Looks like Australian states have had enough of footing the tens of millions of dollars cost of 14 day hotel quarantine for international arrivals.

“There is also a view across the National Cabinet that they are all effectively moving to a charging system for the hotel quarantine.

Some states already have it, other states are moving towards that, and I will leave it to them to make their announcements at the appropriate time.”

Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister

Arrival numbers

But the Prime Minister is being flexible on the number of international travellers who can arrive in Australia in the next few weeks, saying that it depends on hotel quarantine capacity in each state.

“More broadly, when Victoria is in a position at some stage in the future to resume receiving flights, well that will obviously change the capacity at that time.”

He argues that once Victoria re-opens its borders, then the nation’s quarantine capacity will change, because there will be less pressure on the system overall.

“Until that is under control, or even beyond that has been under control and Victoria is able to take up those flights again, then we will be in a restricted capacity for the foreseeable future.”

Western Australia and NSW are already limiting the number of international arrivals, and Queensland is already charging for quarantine. Jane Halton, former head of the Department of Health is to conduct a review of hotel quarantine nationwide, which will have an impact on future recommendations about quarantine capacity.

Delays for Australians returning home

Practically, this might cause delays for Australian citizens and residents trying to return home.

“If we can expand that capacity in the future we will do so, we will do that on the basis of advice we receive.”

2PAXfly Takeout

Australia has been congratulating itself on how it has limited this pandemic. With a really alarming increase in infection rates in Victoria, it feels like its only a matter of time before cases increase in other states.

It’s become scary again, so I endorse these measures that will help mitigate the spread.

The numbers of returning travellers in quarantine since March, given the current restrictions on travel, is a bit frightening. The ABC reported that 63,000 people went into quarantine in the first two and a half months of its operation. You need to add another month’s worth to that figure now.

Multiply those 63,000 people by 14 days, and say AU$200 per night for accommodation and food, and we are talking AU$175 million, give or take.

No wonder states are looking for a way to cover that expense.

Oh yes, maintain physical distance, and wear a mask – that’s now the advice in Victoria.

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