Victoria will accept overseas travellers from 7 December.
And while there was hope that returning travellers to Melbourne could do their mandatory 14-day quarantine at home, those hopes have been dashed, as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has ruled out home-based isolation for returning travellers.
This includes those coming back from ‘low-risk’ countries where the virus is considered under control.
In response to the state’s previous hotel quarantine scheme, a report suggested a combination of hotel and home quarantine may be possible if passengers were returning from low-risk countries.
But, as Executive Traveller reports, Mr Andrews wants to play it safe by enforcing hotel quarantines, as is the protocol for the rest of the nation.
“Having some novel approach in Victoria, which would almost certainly mean that other states were not comfortable with the arrangements, and therefore would close the borders, I think we’re going to have a hotel-based system, but it will look, and be, different to what it was last time,” said Mr Andrews.
While home quarantine is off the table right now, it may be something states introduce in the near future.
“The prime minister and other first ministers made it clear that there is not a consensus, there is not a view at national cabinet level that home quarantine is an appropriate response to the risk we face at the moment,” said Mr Andrews.
International flights to Melbourne will initially be capped at 160 passengers a day or 1120 per week. Sydney currently accepts 2950 passengers per week, while Brisbane and Perth accept around 1000 per week.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says a ‘traffic light’ system could rank nations, depending on COVID-19 control, which would mean some international arrivals from low-risk countries could isolate at home rather than in a hotel – at their expense.
Travellers returning from ‘red’ destinations would need to spend a fortnight in hotel isolation, while those from ‘amber’ destinations may be allowed to quarantine at home and people returning from a ‘green’ destination would not require any quarantine period.
Two-way ‘travel bubbles’ could be quarantine-free, so long as a returning passenger hasn’t visited any ‘amber’ or ‘red’ destinations in the previous 14 days.
It seems, for now, the PM’s suggestion is off the table.
What do you think of the traffic light system?