International travelers arriving in Sydney will have to pay $3000 for a mandatory 2 week hotel quarantine.
New South Wales has now joined Queensland with more states expected to follow as they shift away from multi-million dollar burden
“Australian residents have been given plenty of time to return home, and we feel it is only fair that they cover some of the costs of their hotel accommodation,” said Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Australia enacted a compulsory 14-day isolation period for all inbound passengers as of March 29, with travellers escorted by Australian Border Force staff to a Government-nominated hotel at their point of entry into the country.
Australia now only allows 4,000 passengers per week into the country and the National Cabinet has given the go-ahead for states and territories to send the hotel quarantine bill to travellers rather than taxpayers.
Travellers arriving in NSW will be charged $3000 for one adult, $1000 for each additional adult and $500 per child aged three and over. Children under three years old will stay free of charge.
The new charges mean a family of two parents and two children aged over three will pay $5000 for their 14-day stay in a designated quarantine hotel.
Other state and territories are expected to introduce similar charges, and Queensland already charges returning travellers.
Those prices include meals, although the government will still pick up the cheque for transport to the hotel, security and logistics.
Travellers will be handed the bill when they leave quarantine, with payment due within 30 days, although a hardship scheme will be available to help people facing financial difficulties.
There’ll be an exception made for travellers who booked their flight before 11.59pm on July 12, regardless of when that flight is, who will not be charged for the hotel quarantine stay.
Sydney’s quarantine hotels have taken the bulk of Australia’s returned travellers since Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews called for all international flights to be diverted from Melbourne amid the city’s worsening coronavirus resurgence.
The NSW minister responsible for hotel quarantine Stuart Ayres said contending with the large numbers of returning travellers to Australia “posed a major logistical challenge, however it’s one that has been successfully managed”.
More than 35,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents have returned home from overseas and been processed through the hotel quarantine system since March 29th.