Returning Australians to pay for hotel quarantine, capacity halved

It’s about to become more difficult for Australians overseas to return home, after today’s National Cabinet meeting.

State and territory leaders, along with the Prime Minister have now decided to halve the amount of international flights currently returning to the country.

It’s in an effort to redirect resources to the current situation in Victoria, which the Prime Minister has described as ‘extremely concerning’.


Some states – including Queensland – have also begun charging returning Australians for their own hotel quarantine when they come back into the country.

Individuals will have to pay around $2,800 for a two week stay in Queensland. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says all other states and territories will now follow suit.

There is also a view across the National Cabinet that they are all effectively moving to a charging system for the hotel quarantine that is in place for those returning businesses.

“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 and we are sharing those information is with the states and territories.

While incoming return Aussies will now be capped to a certain amount, which the Prime Minister says will be reviewed once Melbourne is able to take in international flights again.

“It means that a lot of this resource presently, in a lot of States and Territories where there are virtually no cases, community transmission only as a result of returning travellers, a lot of that capacity has sat idle which means it doesn’t need to now, it can be put to work in Victoria and is being put to work in Victoria,” the Prime Minister said.

“The challenges of those many months really did create a very capable work force in this area and that is now at the disposal of any State or Territory that could find themselves in this situation.

“There is no hesitation in the standing offer that the Commonwealth has for all States and Territories. The decision that we took to reduce the number of returned travellers to Australia at this time was to ensure that we could put our focus on the resources needed to do the testing and tracing and not have to have resources diverted to other tasks.

“We will review that as the weeks go by but for now, that is where we have reduced it.

“It is a reduction of over 4,000 people coming each week and that is spread across those ports of entry and that will take affect from Monday,” Mr Morrison said.

The National Cabinet has also decided to conduct a nationwide review of hotel quarantine.

The Prime Minister says it will be carried out by the former Health Secretary Jay Holton, who is currently on the COVID commission.

“She will be undertaking that review working with states and territories and that again is an important step in providing reassurances, making sure that as we look into each of these states and territories and how they are managing the quarantine.

“And as our country opens up again, with the exception of Victoria, we can make sure we have even greater confidence in those quarantine arrangements as they have been put in place,” Mr Morrison said.

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