PM Scott Morrison is planning to use today’s National Cabinet meeting to pressure state and territory leaders to further lift the cap on international arrivals.
This morning is the first time in five weeks Australia’s leaders have gathered together… virtually, of course.
The last National Cabinet meeting saw the states and territories agree to lift the weekly arrivals cap from 4,000 to 6,000 – allowing more opportunities for stranded Aussies to return home.
Earlier this week, Qantas launch repatriation flights to bring citizens home from London, New Delhi, and Johannesburg.
“As the national carrier, this is something we are proud to do.”
Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO
These eight repatriation flights are excluded from the international arrivals cap and are facilitated by the government rather than scheduled commercial services.
What does this mean?
According to reports by the ABC, the flight cap issue has been a source of tension between the Commonwealth and the states.
However, today Mr. Morrison is expected to ask the states to do their bit for the country and assist with bringing home Australians abandoned overseas.
The airline caps were originally put into place to ease the pressure on hotel arrival quarantine systems, but now the NT is on board with extra accommodation, the numbers can be lifted once more.
Perhaps the states could offer up more quarantine options to assist even further with reuniting family members who have been separated due to COVID-19 border closures.
“The best place to quarantine in Australia”
The Commonwealth has struck a deal with the Northern Territory Government to help vulnerable people stranded overseas to get home sooner by upping the airline caps and expanding quarantine processing in the NT.
The repatriated passengers will be heading to the Manigurr-ma mining camp in Howard Springs for their two-week international quarantine.
The camp was used as a quarantine centre for Australians evacuated from China earlier this year and has since housed fruit pickers from the South Pacific.
“Great place to spend 14 days quarantine, the staff and POs are all absolute legends who blend professionalism and understanding to make forced containment a decent experience. Thanks for keeping Darwin safe and us sane!”
Kevin, Google reviewer
Google reviewers are saying is “the best place to quarantine in Australia”, where you can get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
Which are two things everyone needs more of in their lives right now.
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