Australian PM flags COVID-19 home quarantine for int'l arrivals

Australian PM flags COVID-19 home quarantine for int'l arrivals

Sep 09, 2021

Canberra (Australia), September 9: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised citizens stranded overseas that home quarantine on arrival in the country will be available soon.
Morrison on Thursday acknowledged the "very heavy burden" carried by Australians who have been stuck overseas since the start of the pandemic.
"I know, for Australians overseas, it has been a very difficult and frustrating time," he said in a video message to an awards event, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
As of July about 38,000 Australian citizens and residents overseas had registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to return home.
Morrison previously promised Australians overseas that they would be home by December 2020 but domestic outbreaks of COVID-19 interrupted the hotel quarantine system.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has criticized the prime minister for the delay, saying that Morrison had not done enough to help Australians stranded overseas get home.
Morrison said that the government was working to make home quarantine the "primary" option for arrivals rather than hotel quarantine, significantly boosting the number of people who can enter the country.
On Thursday morning, Australia reported 1,745 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19, taking the estimated number of active cases in the country past 30,000.
Of the new cases, 1,405 were from New South Wales (NSW), the country's most populous state with Sydney as the capital city, where the state health department also recorded five deaths.
"There have been 153 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since June 16, 2021," said the statement from the NSW Health.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded 15 new cases, taking the number of active cases in the nation's capital to 227.
So far about 64 percent of Australians aged 16 and over had received at least one coronavirus vaccine and 39 percent were fully inoculated, according to the Department of Health.
Source: Xinhua