Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced today (Jul 10) a nationwide review will be conducted into the government’s hotel quarantine program.
The review will be conducted by Jane Halton, who currently sits on the government’s COVID Commission. All states and territories will be consulted as part of the review.
It follows a situation in Melbourne recently whereby a third-party security contractor at the Stamford Plaza Melbourne, not employed directly by the hotel, was traced as the origin of a mini COVID-19 outbreak within the hotel.
In a statement, the hotel confirmed all staff members had been tested and returned negative results, with the Victorian Prisons Department to oversee a state-wide review into the hotel quarantine program.
The Prime Minister said the review was a lesson taken from the Victorian experience.
“This is an important step in providing reassurance and making sure that as we look into each of the states and territories and how they’re managing their quarantine that it is meeting the standards that the AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee) has advised upon,” the Prime Minister said.
At the same time, the Prime Minister confirmed that Australia would limit the number of returning citizens and permanent residents each day in order to lessen the burden on the respective hotel quarantine programs being run by the states and territories.
Morrison acknowledged some states had already moved to a system whereby guests would be required to fund their own mandatory hotel quarantine as part of a state program, and that other states not currently forwarding on these costs would soon be doing so.
“Where possible, we will seek to have some sort of national uniformity across those pricings,” the PM said.
“We’re sharing that information with the states and territories.
“As our country opens up again, with the exception of Victoria, we [must] ensure we have even greater confidence in those quarantine arrangements as they’re being put in place.”