The prime minister has called on Queensland to bring in home quarantine as the state government deals with a shortage of hotel quarantine rooms and faces criticism over border exemptions for sports stars.
The Queensland government granted border passes to more than 100 NRL players’ family members and league officials while the NSW border is closed.
A charter plane arrived from Sydney on Monday afternoon, despite health orders prohibiting anyone but essential workers who have had at least one vaccine dose from entering from NSW.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on Queensland to move to home quarantine, which is being trialled in South Australia, to solve capacity issues in hotel quarantine.
“I share people’s frustration about that (exemptions for sports stars) no doubt about that,” he told 4BC Radio.
“But, what’s the answer, I’ll tell you what the answer is: we need to move to home quarantine.
“Home quarantine means there’d be (quarantine) places for all Australians, for all Queenslanders.”
The prime minister has labelled South Australia’s trial of home quarantine a model for the rest of the country once 80 per cent of over-16s are fully vaccinated.
He wants quarantine facilities to be reserved for international travellers such as backpackers.
“The answer for quarantine going forward is actually home quarantine,” Mr Morrison told 4BC radio on Tuesday.
Mr Morrison said countries with high vaccination rates like the United Kingdom and Japan could be the first to join travel bubbles when Australia reaches high coverage.
He said dedicated quarantine facilities would be used for international travellers rather than returning Australians.
“I want to see home quarantine become the norm.”
Mr Morrison told 5AA radio that would allow for more Australians stranded overseas to come home, and help bring in international students and workers.
Australia is set to go from one to four dedicated quarantine facilities, but not until part-way through 2022.
The federal government will pay to build dedicated quarantine facilities in Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria to supplement hotels.
Last week, fast-tracked approvals of the WA and Queensland centres were pushed through parliament.
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