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Travellers to be tested upon entry and exit to quarantine, small business restrictions eased

Ns News Online Desk:Ns News Online Desk: In Australia- regarding Pandemic,  Professor Murphy reiterated the importance of 14 days’ quarantine for people arriving from overseas, noting the risk from people returning from overseas “is still very high” and “the country risk profile is changing all the time”.

“You have powers to say to someone: ‘Well, we won’t let you out of quarantine until you’ve been tested and had a clear test’,” Professor Murphy said.In Australia regarding pandemic, Professor Murphy reiterated the importance of 14 days’ quarantine for people arriving from overseas, noting the risk from people returning from overseas “is still very high” and “the country risk profile is changing all the time”.

“We are going to start testing people on entry to quarantine and testing people before they leave quarantine to see whether a testing regime might help in the future,” he said.”We know it is a burden on our returning citizens and permanent residents, it is something the great majority are very happy to put up with because they know they’re protecting their fellow Australians from this virus.”

Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Anneliese van Diemen revealed on Friday that about 30 per cent of returned international travelers were refusing to be tested. Professor Murphy said states and territories were able to compel people to be tested.

“You have powers to say to someone: ‘Well, we won’t let you out of quarantine until you’ve been tested and had a clear test’,” Professor Murphy said. “We will … make sure people understand before they come that [testing] is a requirement. I think most people will co-operate with that arrangement.”

Official data shows that 18,000 returned travelers have been through hotel quarantine in Victoria since March 29, with more than 100 people testing positive to COVID-19 and 5400 people released into the community without being tested.The NSW government initially only tested people with cold and flu symptoms when hotel quarantine arrangements began on March 29, but on May 15 began testing detained travelers without symptoms on day 10 of their stay. The rate of positive tests in NSW was 3 per cent for those with symptoms and 0.5 per cent when those without symptoms were also tested.

Queensland and ACT have not previously made testing compulsory in their quarantine hotels, with 29 per cent of arrivals at Canberra airport refusing to have a COVID-19 test. Western Australia already requires all returned travelers to be tested for COVID-19.

Professor Murphy reiterated the importance of 14 days’ quarantine for people arriving from overseas, noting the risk from people returning from overseas “is still very high” and “the country risk profile is changing all the time”.

“We are going to start testing people on entry to quarantine and testing people before they leave quarantine to see whether a testing regime might help in the future,” he said.”We know it is a burden on our returning citizens and permanent residents, it is something the great majority are very happy to put up with because they know they’re protecting their fellow Australians from this virus.”

“We will … make sure people understand before they come that [testing] is a requirement. I think most people will co-operate with that arrangement.”

Official data shows that 18,000 returned travelers have been through hotel quarantine in Victoria since March 29, with more than 100 people testing positive to COVID-19 and 5400 people released into the community without being tested.The NSW government initially only tested people with cold and flu symptoms when hotel quarantine arrangements began on March 29, but on May 15 began testing detained travelers without symptoms on day 10 of their stay.

The rate of positive tests in NSW was 3 per cent for those with symptoms and 0.5 per cent when those without symptoms were also tested.

Queensland and ACT have not previously made testing compulsory in their quarantine hotels, with 29 per cent of arrivals at Canberra airport refusing to have a COVID-19 test. Western Australia already requires all returned travellers to be tested for COVID-19. In Victoria, those detained travelers who agreed to a test have been tested on days 3 and 11.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said health authorities must “have the right controls in place to test more people, trace those who test positive and respond to local outbreaks when they occur [to] enable Australia to relax baseline restrictions and enable Australians to live and work in a COVID-safe economy.”

“There are a million new cases being reported of COVID-19 around the world every week. We are seeing the virus take hold in places like South America now at a level difficult to imagine and we are anticipating similar types of scenarios in Africa and other parts of the world,” he said.

Professor Murphy said that with the coronavirus “accelerating around the world”, Australia remained “at risk of importation of cases for the foreseeable future.”

“Every day in Australia, we have cases in hotel quarantine – mostly in NSW and Victoria, because they’re taking the lion’s share,” he said.

“Hotel quarantine is never going to be 100 per cent perfect … We can’t be absolutely sure there won’t be more in continuing imports of cases.”

Mr Morrison said national cabinet had also agreed after advice from the medical expert panel that “smaller premises” can move to a two-square meter rule, down from four square meters, meaning more patrons can be allowed into smaller cafes, restaurants and bars.Mr Morrison said the definition of “smaller premises” will be determined by each jurisdiction “but, as a rule of thumb, that’s around about 100 square meters”.

“In Tasmania and Western Australia they’ve already moved to that two-square meter arrangement, so other states will be free to consider that. Previously there had been a more formal rule around four square meters and I think it shows the flexibility that is now being able to be built into the response based on the experience that everybody is having and is being shared.”Talking about the re-opening of state and territory borders, the Prime Minister said it was reasonable for states to reopen their borders but exclude people coming from localized hot spots of outbreaks.

“You have to fill out a statutory declaration going into the Northern Territory about where you’ve come from. If you’ve come from a hot spot, well, you’ll have to go into quarantine and that’s entirely reasonable,” he said.

‘To have those sort of broad brush-type restrictions really, I don’t think, makes an enormous amount of sense.” He said Queensland is reviewing its July 10 planned date to reopen its borders, and the Queensland Premier would make further announcements “in the coming days”.

.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said health authorities must “have the right controls in place to test more people, trace those who test positive and respond to local outbreaks when they occur [to] enable Australia to relax baseline restrictions and enable Australians to live and work in a COVID-safe economy.”

“There are a million new cases being reported of COVID-19 around the world every week. We are seeing the virus take hold in places like South America now at a level difficult to imagine and we are anticipating similar types of scenarios in Africa and other parts of the world,” he said.

Professor Murphy said that with the coronavirus “accelerating around the world”, Australia remained “at risk of importation of cases for the foreseeable future.””Every day in Australia, we have cases in hotel quarantine – mostly in NSW and Victoria, because they’re taking the lion’s share,” he said. “Hotel quarantine is never going to be 100 per cent perfect … We can’t be absolutely sure there won’t be more in continuing imports of cases.”

 

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