Victoria to resume international flights after Easter

Melbourne, Australia - December 10, 2016: Melbourne airport check-in zone

International travel into Melbourne is set to be up and running again in April, six weeks after flights were halted following a COVID-19 outbreak in February.

Overseas flights into Melbourne will resume on 8 April, according to the Age, with a new cap on international arrivals of 800 per week, 320 fewer than before the February outbreak.

This number is expected to grow to 1,120 per week by mid-April, according to the Guardian.

This comes as the government relaunches its hotel quarantine program following a major review after airflow in hotel quarantine rooms was blamed for the Holiday Inn outbreak that sent Melbourne into its third lockdown.

According to ABC News, more than 4,000 quarantine workers have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, improved PPE rules have been rolled out and three hotels are now ready to take passengers.

However, the state is still bound by the federal government’s restrictions on who can enter Australia from overseas, with only Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia and immediate family members of Australian citizens allowed to enter the country.

“We’ve taken [the] action and time necessary to ensure we have the most rigorous quarantine system possible in place to protect against these highly infectious, rapidly changing variants of concern,” acting Premier James Merlino told ABC News.

“The challenges of this virus will be with us for some time to come, that’s why we’ve listened to the advice of experts and made the necessary changes to ensure we’re keeping Victorians safe.”

Victoria entered a five-day snap lockdown to combat a COVID-19 cluster that was linked to the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport in 12 February.

The announcement comes as the state marks its 27th say without local transmission.


Image: iStock/Katharina13

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