Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Australia cuts citizen returns as virus surge worsens

Australia cuts citizen returns as virus surge worsens

AUSTRALIA: Australia will slash the number of returning citizens allowed into the country by half as it struggles to contain a worsening coronavirus outbreak in its second-largest city, officials announced Friday (July 10).


Friday 10 July 2020, 03:40PM

From Monday (July 13), only 4,000 Australian citizens or permanent residents will be allowed back into the country each week, down from around 8,000 currently, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

He said the move was needed to focus resources on countering the “very concerning” virus surge in Melbourne, where authorities reported a record 288 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

It was the highest daily jump in new infections since the outbreak took off in Melbourne in mid-June, with officials linking the increase to a record amount of testing for the virus.

“It was always going to get worse before it got better,” said Daniel Andrews, the premier of the state of Victoria which includes Melbourne.

“We are doing more testing than has ever been done, not by a small margin, but by a massive margin,” he said, adding that more than 30,000 people had been tested in the previous 24 hours.

Some five million residents of greater Melbourne were ordered into a six-week, stay-at-home lockdown this week in an effort to curb the outbreak, which has rattled a nation that had successfully contained the epidemic in most areas weeks ago.

Victorians have also been barred from travelling to the country’s other states and territories. 

Health authorities said it would take several weeks to know if the Melbourne lockdown had succeeded in stemming the surge.

Diamond Resort Phuket

And for the first time in Australia, they recommended that people wear masks in public if they are unable to observe proper social distancing when in the Melbourne region. 

Australia closed its international borders to all but returning citizens and permanent residents in late March as the pandemic spread.

All returning travellers have been put in mandatory hotel quarantine, stretching resources in the country’s main cities. 

Morrison said the cap on returning Australians would remain in place until the Melbourne epidemic is contained.

Health and security breaches in quarantine hotels in Melbourne have been blamed for sparking the outbreak there, and returning overseas travellers have accounted for the majority of the country’s COVID-19 cases.

While the situation worsened in Melbourne, Queensland state in the northeast opened its domestic borders Friday to people from everywhere but Victoria for the first time in more than three months.

The state is the premier vacation destination during the southern winter, and tourists flocked to take advantage of its beaches, tropical forests and the Great Barrier Reef. 

The nation of 25 million has so far recorded just over 9,000 COVID-19 cases, 106 of them fatal. Most states and regions have reported few or no new daily cases of the disease in recent weeks.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Be the first to comment.


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Retiring Navy chief praises Phuket division for fight against ‘influential people’

It is a small step forward that high ranking Thai Officials admit that there are influential people....(Read More)

Cocaine, reckless driving charges for Red Bull scion

Doesn't matter what they say unless a deal is cut with papa- he'll never see the inside of a...(Read More)

Cocaine, reckless driving charges for Red Bull scion

......because his blood alcohol level was so high, he would have been unable to drive.... I like tha...(Read More)

Prayut tries to quell grave public concern over ‘Boss’ case

If someone is deliberately run off the road on their motorbike why would an autopsy reveal gunshot w...(Read More)

Retiring Navy chief praises Phuket division for fight against ‘influential people’

Shwe, I was told that jet sky happening in the water is in the portfolio of the Phuket Marine Office...(Read More)

Retiring Navy chief praises Phuket division for fight against ‘influential people’

Would be interesting what this now retired admiral did fight 'influentials' during his servi...(Read More)

Three injured as Rawai beachfront footpath collapses

Another sign of low maintenance and negligence from local authorities. This area, which could be con...(Read More)

Ferry capsizes off Koh Samui, 7 missing

@Kurt/ Capricornball At the time of my comment it was already confirmed on here and on other new...(Read More)

Investigation into capsized ferry as 1 confirmed dead, 4 still missing

The ferry shown in the photo has hardly any reserve buoyancy. Tons of over coming water on deck made...(Read More)

Investigation into capsized ferry as 1 confirmed dead, 4 still missing

Seeing the little free board of that ferry, the vessel is absolutely not seaworthy when waves are 2-...(Read More)