PM’s bad news for Aussies overseas
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.
Since the end of March, the Morrison government implemented a nationwide plan for return travellers to enter a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine upon arrival. The hotel bill for each stay was covered by the taxpayer, however, after giving ample time for Australia residents to return.
Speaking to media on Friday, Mr Morrison said the reduction of inbound flights around the country would be cut by half from Monday - meaning it will be "difficult" for Australians to return home.
"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."
In terms of mandatory hotel quarantine, Mr Morrison said that all states and territories will also be moving to a "charging system" for return travellers.
Mr Morrison said while some states already have a system in place, the Federal Government will seek to have a "national uniformity" across the hotel quarantine pricings for return overseas travellers.
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Since international borders were closed in mid-March, more than 357,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents have returned amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Anyone returning has been forced into 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier this week, several states including NSW and Western Australia asked the 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.
Originally published as PM's bad news for Aussies overseas