- Australia cuts overseas arrivals to 3,000 per week
- NSW reported 31 new cases, the biggest daily increase for 2021
- Brisbane’s confinement extended by one day
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday Australia would cut overseas arrivals in half as the hotel’s coronavirus quarantine system comes under pressure from the highly contagious Delta virus.
The new travel restrictions come as Australia battles a simultaneous outbreak of delta variants in three capitals, meaning nearly half of all Australians are currently on strict stay-at-home orders. The most recent outbreaks have been attributed to quarantine leaks in hotels.
Australia closed its international borders largely to non-nationals early last year. Permanent residents and returning Australian travelers, except those leaving New Zealand, must self-quarantine for two weeks at hotels at their own expense.
Morrison said Australia would now only accept around 3,000 foreign travelers per week. He said lowering the cap would be complete by July 14, although some states may move earlier.
After a meeting of the country’s national cabinet, Morrison also said an agreement had been reached on a four-step plan for reopening Australia after it was locked out following the recent outbreak. He said it would depend on achieving vaccination levels aimed at suppressing COVID-19 to a point where it is treated like other infectious diseases such as the flu.
“The way we think about dealing with COVID-19 must change as we move from pre-vaccination to post-vaccination. This is the deal for the Australians, ”Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
He said the four-phase approach could give more freedoms to fully vaccinated people, including a shorter quarantine period after arriving from overseas.
Sydney, the capital of New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s largest city and home to a fifth of the country’s 25 million people, is halfway through a two-week lockdown imposed in the purpose of containing the variable delta. .
On Friday, he warned residents to prepare for an increase in COVID-19 infections in the coming days, as he reported the largest daily increase in locally acquired cases so far this year.
31 local cases were reported in NSW on Friday, the largest daily increase to date in cases in the last outbreak and for 2021. The total number of infections has risen to more than 200 since the first was discovered case more than two weeks ago. .
“We expect an increase in the number in the coming days and we hope that by the beginning of next week we will see the impact of the lockdown really turn around and have a positive impact,” the Prime Minister told reporters. from New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian.
Queensland officials have said lockdown rules will be relaxed in parts of Queensland from Friday, although they were extended for another day in the capital Brisbane and an adjacent region after three new cases were reported.
The lockdown will also be lifted on Friday in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. The restrictions will be reviewed in Perth later today.
Lockdowns, a rapid contact tracing and strict social distancing rules have helped Australia quell a previous outbreak, but the rapidly evolving Delta tribe has alarmed authorities amid a slow, wide vaccination campaign. national.
Proposal confused and frustrated by frequent changes in AstraZeneca’s medical opinion (AZN.L) A vaccine has become a flashpoint in relations between the federal government and heads of state. Read more
Report by Ringo José. Editing by Kenneth Maxwell
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