The Australian Government will enact mandatory quarantining measures for all passengers arriving into the country from overseas after 11:59pm on Saturday March 28 2020, in a move to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Passengers arriving after this time will be locked down in hotels for 14 days of self-isolation, in a significant escalation of the current process which allows travellers to first return to their homes (or a hotel, if visiting), and then begin their isolation period.
This will take place in their arrival city, not at their final destination, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirms.
“If their home is in South Australia, or Perth, or in Tasmania and they have arrived in Melbourne, they will be quarantining in Melbourne,” says the PM.
“States and territories will be quarantining all arrivals through our airports in hotels and other accommodation facilities for their two weeks of their mandatory self-isolation, before they are able to return to their home,” Morrison confirms.
Who pays for the two weeks of hotel isolation?
The accommodation and food costs incurred as a result of these compulsory self-isolation measures will be covered by each state and territory, which Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews promptly confirmed after the PM's announcement.
To ensure those quarantined do not leave their accommodation, members of the Australian Defence Forces will be called in to assist local authorities in enforcing compliance.
Passengers who’d planned to take an interstate connecting flight following their international arrival will only be able to do so after the isolation period has been completed: however, the traveller’s destination state may enforce its own isolation requirements upon arrival.
Passengers merely travelling interstate – without having arrived from overseas – won’t need to remain in monitored isolation at hotels, but still need to observe mandatory self-isolation requirements at home if required in their arriving state.
Currently, passengers arriving into Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia from interstate must self-isolate at home for 14 days.
Those arriving from overseas prior to 11:59pm on March 28 2020 will still be required to self-isolate at home, as per current regulations.