Victoria’s hotel quarantine system has been halted once again by Premier Daniel Andrews.
All international arrivals will cease from Saturday, spokeswoman for the Premier said.
“As part of the circuit-breaker action taken today, we have paused all international passenger flights from tomorrow (Saturday, February 13) – excluding those already in transit.”
Under the lockdown, all business have been told by Victoria to close.
Victorians have been instructed to stay within 5 kilometres of their homes, and only go out to shop for essentials, caregiving, exercise and essential work.
All schools will also remain closed until Thursday.
This step won’t go down well with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Recently, the national cabinet raised the cap on international arrivals to about 6500 per week.
These numbers were to be maintained till the end of April.
Now, Victorian Premier has decided to pause all international flights into Victoria.
PM Morrison believes the system in place right now can cope with the threat from new strains of the coronavirus without dropping numbers of international arrivals into the country.
Last week, Victoria agreed to raise the cap of international arrivals from 1120 to 1310 per week.
The Victorian Premier has now suggested the idea of accepting only “hundreds” in Victoria each week.
“If I were to form a view that we only want to do a small number of compassionate Aussies coming home, it wouldn’t be to save money, it wouldn’t be to avoid the hard work.”
There is a demand that Australia needs new facilities to quarantine international travellers.
In addition, there is a growing debate over who should be responsible for border control – federal and state?
A spokeswoman for the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said:
“We know this will be difficult news for people who are overseas and want to get home but our focus right now has to be taking this short, sharp action in response to this outbreak. We will continue to assess the impact of the UK strain of the virus on our program and international arrivals, and will provide more information on the duration of this pause soon.”
International passengers who are already on flights to Victoria will be quarantined on arrival.