Australian taxpayers will no longer be footing the bill for those international travelers arriving in Australia.
Australia’s 14-day quarantine requirement
As part of its strategy to minimize the spread of coronavirus, Australia has more or less closed its borders. Only citizens and residents are currently allowed to travel to the country, and passengers arriving on international flights are subjected to a 14-day quarantine.
Up until now passengers haven’t been charged for the 14-day quarantine, meaning that those returning to Australia were essentially getting free accommodation and food for two weeks. Of course most people presumably don’t actually want to quarantine, but at least you weren’t out of pocket anything for it…
Passengers arriving in Australia have to undergo a 14-day quarantine
Australia will start passing on cost of quarantine to travelers
New South Wales, which is home to Sydney Airport, will begin charging passengers 3,000 AUD (~2,085 USD) for their 14-day quarantine.
Additional occupants will be charged at lower rates, with additional adults costing 1,000 AUD each, additional children costing 500 AUD each, and children under three incurring no additional cost.
Here’s how this will be implemented:
- This will apply for arrivals as of Saturday, July 18, 2020
- Those who purchased tickets prior to July 13, 2020, still won’t have to pay
- Travelers will be invoiced at the end of their stay, and will have to pay within 30 days
- There’s no registration required, but rather you’ll automatically be directed to a hotel upon arrival
- People with financial hardship may apply for a payment plan, while those with significant hardship may receive a reduced fee
As the decision is described, the New South Wales government has so far spent 65 million AUD on quarantine accommodations to house international travelers returning to Australia since March, which has covered over 35,000 travelers. The goal is for the quarantine fee to reduce the financial burden of coronavirus on taxpayers.
As Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, Australians have had three to four months to think about what they want to do, so at this point it’s no longer about Australians returning home who may have been stuck abroad, unlike at the beginning.
Sydney is currently limiting airlines to carrying a total of 450 international passengers per day to Sydney, and airlines are even limited to carrying 50 passengers per flight.
The 14-day quarantine will now cost 3,000 AUD
Starting in about a week, Australia will charge 3,000 AUD for the 14-day quarantine required for arriving international travelers. I can see both sides of the argument. On the one hand, it doesn’t seem like Australian taxpayers should have to foot the bill for this. On the other hand, no one wants to go into a 14-day quarantine in a facility, and ultimately this is for the protection of all Australians.
What do you make of the decision for Australia to start charging for the 14-day quarantine?