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International flights cut by half as travellers forced to pay for quarantine –

International flights cut by half as travellers forced to pay for quarantine



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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced Australians currently overseas will have a much harder time getting back on home soil, with the Federal Government confirming international flights into Australia will be slashed by half.Just 4000 Australian citizens and residents will be allowed into the country per week from Monday, with the Prime Minister saying it will be “difficult” for Australians to now get home.
Since Australia’s international borders were closed in mid-March, more than 357,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents have returned amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
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As part of the international traveller program, anyone returning from an overseas destination has been forced into 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine to slow the spread of coronavirus. The cost of the stay had been covered by the taxpayer – until now.On Friday, the Morrison government said the cost of hotel quarantine for return overseas travellers would no longer fall on the taxpayer, with each state and territory required to decide on a “charging system”.
Mr Morrison said while some states already have a system in place – such as Queensland – the Federal Government will seek to have a “national uniformity” across hotel quarantine pricing for return overseas travellers.
Following the National Cabinet meeting, Mr Morrison advised there will be a significant reduction of inbound international flights to ports around the country.
“It will be more difficult because there will be a reduction in the available capacity for people to be coming back to Australia,” he said.
“That is the consequence of this decision today by the National Cabinet. More broadly, when Victoria is in a position at some stage in the future to resume receiving flights…that will obviously change the capacity.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews noted that his state will not be accepting flights for the “forseeable future” given the states latest fugure of 288 new coronavirus cases on Friday alone.
“Given we have had the better part of 20,000 returned travellers processed here, many of whom weren’t from Victoria, I think it is fair to say others will have to deal with that issue because we have got our own set of challenges that we have to deal with, contact tracing and those important things,” Mr Andrews said of the Federal Government announcement.
Earlier this week, several states including NSW and Western Australia asked the Federal Government to cap overseas arrivals into both Sydney and Perth Airports, citing ongoing resource pressures and strain on hotel quarantine facilities.
The Federal Government announced that NSW – who have received majority of the international arrivals back into Australia – had their arrival passengers capped at 450 people.
Each states have had an increase of return international travellers, given an international flight ban currently in place for Victoria given their surge in coronavirus cases. The decision to stop international arrivals is to help ease pressure on quarantine facilities in the state.

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