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Australia to halve number of citizens returning home each week

Australia to halve number of citizens returning home each week

Australia’s PM Scott Morrison said on Friday the government will halve the number of citizens allowed to return home from overseas each week. Authorities are struggling to contain a coronavirus outbreak in the country’s second most populous city.

Most cases in the country have involved returned travelers, Reuters said. The state of Victoria reported 288 new cases on Friday, a record daily increase for any part of the country since the pandemic began, Reuters said.

Since March, Australia has allowed only citizens and permanent residents to enter the country. Once they arrive, they begin a mandatory 14-day quarantine in hotels, which is paid for by state governments. Morrison said that from Monday, Australia will cap the figures at 4,000 people each week, about half the number that have been returning. Those who return will also have to pay for their quarantine stays.

Neighboring New Zealand introduced measures earlier this week to limit the number of citizens returning home to reduce the burden on its overflowing quarantine facilities.