Cap on international arrivals and travellers to pay for mandatory hotel quarantine in Australia
Australia will cut the number of international arrivals as some states deal with strain on their hotel quarantine systems, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says inbound flights to Australia will be cut by half and returned travellers will be required to pay for mandatory hotel quarantine in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus after the cabinet meeting.
There will be 4000 fewer people coming in Australia each week under the caps on international flights
"We will review that as the weeks go by but for now, that is where we have reduced it," he told reporters on Friday.
Mr Morrison said the reduction would allow for states to place their contact tracing and health resources into other efforts, including assisting Victoria, noting the issue was not that states such as NSW – with a large number of hotel quarantine facilities – had reached capacity as such.
"We also agreed today a reduction in the number of inbound arrivals into Australia across those ports that are able to accept returning Australian citizens and residents.
"Of course there are no flights going into Melbourne, into Victoria, for obvious reasons, and to ensure that we are mitigating and managing that risk.
"They will be cut by just over half across all the various ports that are taking those visitors. Sorry, those residents returning to Australia." Prime Minister added
The Prime Minister also said there was also a view that all states would move towards charging returning Australians for hotel quarantine.
"Some states already have it, other states are moving towards that, and I will leave that to them to make their announcements at the appropriate time and where possible, we will seek to have some sort of national uniformity across those pricings," he said.
Western Australia and NSW have already implemented caps on their international arrivals after they were faced with increased numbers when the Victorian program was suspended. NSW introduced limitation last week and currently overseas arrivals are capped at 450 passengers a day, with a maximum of 50 passengers allowed per incoming flight.
DFAT's Smartraveller guidance has warned of "pressure" on Sydney's quarantine facilities.
"If you're scheduled to fly into Sydney in the coming days and weeks, confirm your itinerary and onward travel plans with your airline," it said.
In a statement, NSW Health said it was critical that hotel quarantining was "not stretched to breaking point".