Australia limits number of citizens allowed to return from overseas each week
As Australia struggles to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in its second most populous city, the country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today that the government will cut the weekly number of Australian citizens and permanent residents allowed to return home from abroad by 50 percent.
Most cases in the country have involved returned travelers. The state of Victoria reported 288 new cases on Friday, a record daily increase for any part of the country since the pandemic began.
Since March, Australia has allowed only citizens and permanent residents to enter the country. Once they arrive, they begin a mandatory 14-day quarantine in hotels, which is paid for by state governments.
Morrison said that from Monday, Australia will cap the figures at 4,000 people each week, about half the number that have been returning. Those who return will also have to pay for their quarantine stays.
Neighboring New Zealand introduced measures earlier this week to limit the number of citizens returning home to reduce the burden on its overflowing quarantine facilities.