Sydney, Australia, July 12 (efe-epa).- The Australian state of New South Wales will charge travelers from other countries AU$3,000 ($2,650) for mandatory hotel quarantine as a part of measures to check the spread of Covid-19, the government announced on Sunday.
“NSW (New South Wales) is the gateway to Australia, with more than 35,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents returning from overseas processed through our hotel quarantine system since 29 March 2020,” Governor Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.
The measure, which will come into effect on Saturday, July 18, is being implemented to cover the costs of accommodation and food during the mandatory 14-day quarantine, although the state government will continue to bear the costs for security, transportation, and logistics.
“The NSW taxpayers have footed much of the bill so far, with more than $65 million spent on quarantine accommodation to house international travelers returning to Australia,” the governor said.
“Australian residents have been given plenty of time to return home. We feel it is only fair that they cover some of the costs of their hotel accommodation,” she added.
Australia has recorded a total of almost 9,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 106 deaths, of which New South Wales and Victoria states have recorded nearly 3,800 and more than 2,900 cases, respectively.
The Oceanic country had managed to contain the novel coronavirus, but Victoria, adjoining New South Wales, has witnessed a resurgence of Covid-19 cases since late June, mainly concentrated in the capital city of Melbourne.
In response, the government decided Wednesday on a mandatory quarantine period for travelers coming in over the next six weeks.
Moreover, to prevent a possible spread of the infection to other regions, the authorities on Wednesday night closed the border between the states of Victoria and New South Wales, the country’s two main territories with a combined population exceeding 50 percent of Australia’s total. EFE-EPA