Australia to slash international flights

International flights arriving in Australia will be halved to ease the pressure on hotel quarantine systems around the country.

Australians returning home will also be made to pay for mandatory two-week stays in hotel quarantine.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the changes after a national cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders on Friday.

The reduction of flight arrivals from Monday will mean more than 4000 fewer people will return home every week.

All states will soon charge people for their fortnight in quarantine.

“Where possible, we will seek to have some sort of national uniformity across those pricings,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

Victoria recorded 288 new cases on Friday, the highest daily increase of any state since the pandemic began.

“The news from Victoria remains very concerning,” Mr Morrison said.

He said the Melbourne outbreak showed how important it was for people to keep their distance from each other.

“It is still not OK for hugs and handshakes,” he said.

“It’s important to maintain the discipline of the social distancing behind closed doors, not just out in the public space.”

Mr Morrison will speak with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday about the trans-Tasman travel bubble.

But he urged patience, with borders to remain shut for the foreseeable future.

“The fact that Australia cannot have international flights is damaging to our economy,” he said.

He spoke with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe on Thursday night about some limited transport of scientists and other key personnel between countries in the future.

In the past month, more than 28,000 people have arrived in Australia from overseas, with more than half landing in Sydney.

Former health department secretary Jane Halton will lead a review of hotel quarantine after breaches in Victoria’s system fanned infection rates in Melbourne.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.