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COVID-19: Returning Traveller Hotel Capacity limits return to pre-Christmas levels

COVID-19: Returning Traveller Hotel Capacity limits return to pre-Christmas levels

As advised after a national cabinet meeting on 5 February, from today (15 February) returning traveller hotel quarantine capacity limits return to the levels agreed before the Northern Beaches and other state outbreaks.

Here is a table of the capacity limits comparing 15 January to 15 February:

State15 JanuaryNow15 February
Arrivals capacity limits by State for January to February 2021
a screenshot of a computer
Some of the cancelled flights into Melbourne today (15 February 2021)


I think Victoria has suspended all incoming international flights, and therefore returning travellers as part of the current three day lockdown that ends on Wednesday 17 February.

The table of arriving flights at Melbourne Airport above tends to indicate that most flights have, or will be cancelled.

a man and woman walking into an elevator

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

There are rumours that Howard Springs, the facility outside of Darwin is currently gearing up with a AU$200 million overhaul to double its capacity from about 1,200 to closer to 3,000 places for returned travellers in quarantine.

This will be a boon to returning Australians who have been until now unable to return home. It should also satisfy other Australians, who are increasingly unsympathetic to those who did not head the call back in March 2020 to return home.

That view is unfair for many who have travelled for compassionate reasons, and are stuck overseas. Flying to support a sick relative, or to attend a funeral should be viewed with compassion, as should those people’s need to return to Australia.

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