NSW and South Australia will charge Australians returning home from abroad $3,000 to stay in hotel quarantine, while Queensland will ask for $2,800.
The announcements come after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced last week that the country will cap international flights and passengers returning back to ease pressure on isolation facilities.
The NSW Government has said it will begin to invoice passengers from 12:01 am on Saturday, 18 July. Travellers will pay $3,000 for one adult and $1,000 for each additional person.
Children will cost $500 and those under three won’t pay at all.
The fee includes meals and Australians will not be asked to cover the cost of security, transport or logistics.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “NSW is the gateway to Australia, with more than 35,000 Australians citizens and permanent residents returning from overseas processed through our hotel quarantine system since 29 March 2020.
“The NSW taxpayers have footed much of the bill so far, with more than $65 million spent on quarantine accommodation to house international travellers returning to Australia.
“Australian residents have been given plenty of time to return home – and we feel it is only fair that they cover some of the costs of their hotel accommodation.”
She added that those who booked their flight before 11:59 pm on 12 July AEST will be excluded from the charges.
SA has announced also identical charges but revealed they will cap the number of direct arrivals into their state at 500 per week.
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“They’ve had the option to come back for months and months at the expense of taxpayers… that will not be available from Saturday morning,” Premier Marshall said.
Finally, Queensland will charge $2,800 for one adult, $3,710 for two, and $4,620 for two adults and two children.
States will offer hardship arrangements and provide an invoice to be paid within 30 days.
Last week, Australian Aviation reported how the Australian government will instruct airlines to cut the number of flights and halve the number of passengers arriving into the country, in order to reduce pressure on hotel quarantine.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision was “in the national interest” and would also include a review of the isolation procedures to develop agreed best practice nationwide, overseen by former secretary of the federal Health Department, Jane Halton.
The government has to ask the airlines to make the reduction as, technically, they cannot turn away citizens at the border.
Chief medical officer Paul Kelly said, “There have been a lot of people [come through] hotel quarantine.
“There have been very few breaches but we have seen, as has been reported in Victoria, a single breach, even if it’s low risk, can lead to a catastrophic outcome. We absolutely need to know that this is working as best as it can.”
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