Flights reduced to lower hotel bills

 

QUEENSLAND will not have to take any extra international arrivals under Scott Morrison's plan to ease the burden on the nation's stretched hotel quarantine system.

The Prime Minister will put a proposal to National Cabinet on Friday that would cap the number of international flights arriving in Australia in a bid to reduce the cost and logistic burden falling on the states to administer hotel quarantines.

The states have been footing the bill for the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine stay of every Australian returning to the country.

Queensland had been facing mounting pressure from southern states to take a greater share of international arrivals after Victoria opted out of the system when it recorded massive spikes in community transmission.

People leave the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Brisbane CBD after their mandatory two-week quarantine in April. Picture: AAP Image/Attila Csaszar
People leave the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Brisbane CBD after their mandatory two-week quarantine in April. Picture: AAP Image/Attila Csaszar

But Mr Morrison has said he does not want to increase the burden on any other state.

It's understood his plan would reduce the number of flights arriving in Australia each week to ensure that no state would have to take an increasing number of incoming passengers.

More than 28,000 international passengers arrived nationally from June 7 to July 7.

Nearly 15,000 arrived in New South Wales and a further 5,267 in Victoria before it opted out. Queensland recorded 4,527 international arrivals in the month while Western Australia, with 2,509 passengers, was the only other state with more than 1000 arrivals.

The caps are likely to cause some Australians overseas to have their plans to return home delayed however Mr Morrison has said there have been "many opportunities" for them to arrange travel. He also signalled that he would not object if state government's billed returning Australians for their stay in hotel quarantine.

Originally published as Flights reduced to lower hotel bills


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