All Returning Australians Must Now Test Negative To Covid-19 Before Flight
All Australians heading on a flight back to the motherland will now have to test negative for the coronavirus before they step on the plane.
There are still thousands of stranded Aussies all over the world who are trying to get home.
The National Cabinet has met to discuss the issues around how to get them home safely and ensure there isn't a risk of bringing mutations of the virus into the country.
State and territory leaders and the Prime Minister have agreed on a pre-flight testing regime for all international arrivals into Australia.
Face masks will be mandatory on all international and domestic flights.
"Passengers should wear masks while in international airports overseas. International air crew must undergo a COVID-19 test in Australia every seven days or on arrival. That will be determined by the state jurisdictions," Scott Morrison said.
"To continue to quarantine in dedicated quarantine facilities between international flights or for 14 days - no special rules for flight crews moving about, not reposition for an ongoing international flight unless they do so on a crew-only flight."
Children under the age of 12 and those with a medical exemption will be permitted to not wear a face mask on a domestic or international flight.
Travellers will have to undergo the test 72 hours before their flight. People in hotel quarantine back home will be tested every day.
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The Cabinet has also decided not to increase the cap on repatriation flights, and instead has halved the amount coming into NSW, WA and Queensland.
"We will be reducing, till the 15th of February, the caps on international arrivals in New South Wales, Western Australia, in Queensland, by 50 per cent," the Prime Minister said.
"That means, in New South Wales, there'll be a weekly cap of 1,505. In Western Australia, the 50 per cent reduction - these will be finalised with state jurisdictions - at 512. Queensland, at 500.
"Victoria, there'll be no change, because they're already operating at less than 50 per cent of their current capacity, or on their way back.
"That will be reviewed now by 15 February, not under the arrangement we previously had, which was at the end of this month.
"South Australia, there is no change. They're at 490 - a relatively low level, compared to the other jurisdictions. In the smaller jurisdictions - the ACT, the Northern Territory, Tasmania - they are very bespoke arrangements in relation to those airports, and they'll be settled between the Commonwealth and those jurisdictions specifically.
"In the Northern Territory, in particular, they are the primary entry point, and will be the sole entry point for chartered flights that the Commonwealth has put in place."
The mutant strain of Covid-19 that has been causing havoc in the UK and is more contagious than the original has already been detected in Australia.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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