On Friday 10 July, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced the rate of international arrivals into Australia would be halved to just over 4,000 people per week from Monday 13 July to avoid straining quarantine systems and better manage the risk of COVID-19 infections.
International arrivals have been capped for several states:
Perth: 525 people/week (or 75 people/day)
Brisbane: 500 people/week
Sydney: 3150 people/week (or 450 people/day)
Melbourne: All flights are being diverted at this time.
The costs for 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine will also be charged to returning travellers.
How will the reduced international arrivals rate impact travellers to Australia?
While the number of international flights to Australia had already drastically reduced due to Australia’s overseas travel ban and the need to have a valid travel exemption, the Government’s announcement to further limit international arrivals will mean even less flights will be available.
- Eligible travellers can still travel to Australia, however this may become more difficult as less flights are available.
- To facilitate the reduction in arrivals, the Australian Border Force is liaising with airlines to manage the number of incoming passengers. Travellers will need to wait longer for an available flight and book well in advance.
It will also be costly to travel home to Australia, as mandatory hotel quarantine will soon need to be paid for by travellers.
- New legislation is being prepared that will allow the Australian Governments to charge for mandatory quarantine costs. The mechanisms for how this will occur are being decided.
- Quarantine costs for work arrangements is commonly paid for by the employer, while quarantine for people returning home from overseas is funded by the Government. The changes will make it more costly for people to return to Australia for personal reasons.
- Paid quarantine arrangements are already in place in Queensland.
What if I have already booked a flight to Australia?
Overseas arrivals are being managed by the Government and airlines. Last week, WA Health Minister, Mr Roger Cook indicated there may be some flexibility while WA transitions to the new cap restrictions. He said,
“We’re expecting it to come into place over the coming week, obviously there are a number of flights that have already committed arrivals and so we can’t simply turn the tap off but we do want to start getting on top of it.”
If you have already booked flights to arrive in Australia, you may wish to contact your airline to confirm your flight is still operating.
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