On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced further measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, including mandatory quarantining of all international arrivals in hotels and other facilities. He also said that a third tranche of restrictions would be announced in coming days.
Australians returning from overseas have had the greatest impact on the country’s rate of infection.
“By no later than midnight tomorrow – that is 11.59pm Saturday – states and territories will be quarantining all arrivals through our airports in hotels and other accommodation facilities for the two weeks of their mandatory self-isolation before they are able to return to their home,” Morrison said. “If their home is in South Australia or in Perth or in Tasmania and they have arrived in Melbourne, they will be quarantining in Melbourne. If it’s in Sydney, it will be in Sydney. If it’s Brisbane, [it will be in Brisbane] and so on.”
The isolation measures will be enforced by state and territory governments, with support federally from Australian Defence Force members.
Morrison also indicated that broader business lockdowns are coming, and that the government will be announcing stage-three restrictions in coming days.
“[As] part of that plan, what we will be announcing will be to seek to hibernate Australian businesses,” Morrison said. “Today I wanted to set out what the objective was. There will be a burden for everyone to share. And that will include the business as well. There will be landlords who will suffer. The banks will be having to make arrangements with them. Whether councils are involved in providing waivers on rates, things of that nature, that will be something states work through. Whether land tax will be relieved for those who have tenants in distressed situations – all of these are what we are working through. It isn’t simple.”
Earlier this week Morrison announced stage-two restrictions, including a complete ban on overseas travel, further limitations on gatherings of people (at weddings, funerals and open-house inspections) and forced closures of beauty salons, arcades, galleries, museums and play centres.