Australia doubles int’l arrival caps

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The Premiers of New South Wales and Queensland agreed to raise their arrival caps back to their previous level after halving them in January amid concerns over the new strain of Covid-19 detected in Britain…reports Asian Lite News

The cap on international arrivals to Australia will be doubled from mid-February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday following a meeting of the National Cabinet.

The Premiers of New South Wales and Queensland agreed to raise their arrival caps back to their previous level after halving them in January amid concerns over the new strain of Covid-19 detected in Britain, reports Xinhua news agency.

Friday’s announcement means that from February 15, more than 6,300 Australian citizens and residents will be able to enter the country every week to quarantine for 14 days.

More than 30,000 Australians remain stranded overseas.

Morrison said the National Cabinet also discussed expanding the capacity of a specialised quarantine facility at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory and opening another facility in Queensland.

“We are still seeking a lot more information on that proposal, and the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has pulled together the various agencies that are needed to assess that proposal,” he said.

He was joined by Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly, who said that hotel quarantine remained the best method to prevent Covid-19 from entering the Australian community despite recent cases in hotel workers.

“We’ve seen only a small number of incursions from quarantine, and we need to understand these are complex systems with humans, and there is always an opportunity or a chance of human error,” he said.

Australia has so far registered 28,838 confirmed coronavirus cases, and the numbers of locally and overseas acquired cases in the last 24 hours were one and eight respectively.

The death toll stood at 909.

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