Queensland’s Gold Coast has been hosting incoming overseas travellers (photo courtesy Evie Ge/Unsplash).
The Australian state of Queensland has confirmed that it will start charging for mandatory quarantine from next month, after consultation with the National Cabinet.
Following parliamentary meetings on May 29, all states and territories have been permitted to charge international arrivals for quarantining costs.
Queensland says it is introducing fees to “reduce the financial burden of COVID-19 prevention measures on taxpayers”. The Queensland government has spent more than AUS$19 million on accommodating international arrivals since the country closed its borders in March.
All states agreed at this time to cover the cost of accommodation for returning travellers who needed to be quarantined.
The states of New South Wales and Victoria have said they will continue to foot the quarantine bill on behalf of taxpayers.
Queensland’s fees have been set-out by the State Disaster Coordination Centre in partnership with the Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation. Prices start at AUS$2,800 for one adult, rising to AUS$4,620 for two adults and two children in the same room. This covers the full 14 day mandatory quarantine period, including the hotel room, a linen and cleaning fee and all meals. Hardship exemptions will be available, but the details of these have yet to be released. Transport to the hotels from the airport will continue to be covered by the state.
Queensland is the second state to start charging for quarantine accommodation. The Northern Territories already charges both international and domestic arrivals a AUS$2,500 fee, but also allows people to quarantine at home or in pre-booked accommodation as an alternative to a government allocated hotel.
Queensland will continue to use designated hotels and incoming travellers will not be allowed to choose their own accommodation or quarantine at home.
Travellers who have an arrival date into Queensland that was confirmed before midnight on June 17, even if they arrive after July 1, will not be required to pay the quarantine accommodation fee. Documentary evidence that the arrival date was confirmed before the June deadline will be required, which can be in the form of a confirmed itinerary or flight booking.
During quarantine, travellers will be able to order Uber eats and and will be able to receive supermarket deliveries and supplies dropped off by family members or friends.
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