Aviation

Cap on international arrivals introduced to ease pressure on hotel quarantine systems

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

The decision by National Cabinet to limit international arrivals to Australia to ease pressure on coronavirus quarantine systems has come into effect.

As of Monday, Perth, Brisbane, and Sydney will see fewer arrivals per week, following a decision by National Cabinet to limit Australia’s returning traveller numbers from 7,000 to just over 4,000 each week – a reduction of about a third of arrivals, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The move comes in a bid to “manage” and “maintain quarantine arrangements” across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, and to free-up resources to contain Melbourne’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Currently, there are around 1,000 active coronavirus cases in Victoria, with the state recording 177 new cases overnight – the first time the daily case number has been under 200 in three days.

Morrison said the Victorian outbreak has shown that social distancing rules “must be maintained at least until a vaccine or effective treatment are found”.

Since 13 March, more than 357,000 citizens and permanent residents have returned to Australia.

To ease the load placed on state quarantine systems, National Cabinet has agreed to implement further caps on international arrivals, and an extension of current international passenger flight restrictions into Victoria.

Perth will now observe a cap of 525 international arrivals per week. Brisbane will record an overall cap of 500 international arrivals per week.

Sydney will continue to observe a cap of 450 international arrivals per day, as announced on 4 July with a view to further reductions in subsequent weeks.

The decision to limit arrivals to Western Australia comes after Premier Mark McGowan last week advised he had requested for flights to his state to be limited to around “one flight per day” off the back of Victoria’s suspension of international arrivals.

Morrison advised flexibility remains within these caps to as much as possible minimise disruptions to returning Australian citizens and permanent residents.

These arrangements will be subject to a review by the National Cabinet before the end of July.

Restrictions on outbound travel by Australian citizens and permanent residents also remain in place, in accordance with the health advice to the government, Morrison said.

National Cabinet also agreed to a national review of hotel quarantine arrangements, which will be undertaken by the former Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health, Jane Halton, in consultation with states and territories.

It comes amid the establishment of a Victorian state inquiry, led by a former judge, into the operation of its hotel quarantine program.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) also updated its information on arrivals to Australia, writing the Commonwealth would seek to provide airlines with at least 48 hours’ notice to “minimise disruptions”.

However, the department added that it was up to airlines, not the government, to decide to who they sell tickets.

“This could affect your flight into Australia,” DFAT said in an update on Smartraveller.

“If you’re scheduled to fly home to Australia in the coming days and weeks, confirm your itinerary and onward travel plans with your airline or travel agent.”


Featured image source: iStock/stellalevi

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Hotels

Familiar face returns to Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific as GM

Crowne Plaza has opted not to hire a stranger to lead its iconic Terrigal hotel. However, that’s not to say there were a heap of creepy job applicants.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Emirates cans decision to suspend Aussie flights

The UAE’s flag carrier has performed a bizarre backflip, complete with a couple of half-twists and a pike. Meanwhile, the government has introduced stricter rules for returning Aussies.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Norwegian launches agent incentives across all three brands

As the saying goes, all good things come in threes … except if there were four incentives being offered, of course.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Victoria and Tasmania announce further easing of border restrictions

by Huntley Mitchell

The relaxing of domestic border restrictions continues apace, so apologies if we’ve missed any updates here. Our editor’s typing fingers are quite tired and sore.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

WATCH: Intrepid releases heartfelt video to remind the world why we travel

Travel Weekly’s deputy editor cried her eyes out while watching this video. Partly because it’s so beautiful, but mostly because she just really wants to be on the next plane out of here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Australia’s first Mövenpick hotel opens its doors

Among the offerings at this new Accor hotel is a daily ‘Chocolate Hour’, which we can only assume involves bathing in Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourist slammed for daring Instagram video on the edge of 500m waterfall

A 25-year-old influencer has been heavily criticised for taking photos of herself on the edge of a very threatening-looking waterfall. Fair enough.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

CLIA names new global chairman

There’s been a major change in CLIA’s boardroom, and we’re not talking about the new fiddle-leaf fig.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Federal government accidentally advises visa applicants to travel overseas despite COVID-19 pandemic

Looks like someone at the Department of Home Affairs is getting fired after accidentally telling visa applicants to get overseas immediately during a global pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Savvy agent scores loads of cruise bookings during Victoria’s lockdown

Meanwhile, the only thing Travel Weekly’s editor achieved in lockdown was to eat his weight in potato chips while getting through Netflix’s entire catalogue.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Northern Beaches COVID-19 outbreak led to $7 billion loss for tourism industry: TTF

Avalon residents have reportedly gone back into quarantine to escape the blame for this huge loss to the tourism industry.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Federal government urged to introduce HECS-style loan scheme for small businesses

Could this turn out to be another much-needed funding opportunity for travel agents? Let’s bloody hope so.

Share

CommentComments