Australia has halved the number of people allowed in the country each week in an effort to ease pressure on its hotel quarantine system as the country faces several outbreaks linked to the Delta variant.
After a meeting with heads of state and territory on Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed his plans to get out of the pandemic alongside new milestones in international arrivals.
As of July 14, Australia expects to accept 3,035 international arrivals each week, down from the previous limit of 6,070. Sydney, the most populous city, will maintain the most generous deductible of 1,505 weekly arrivals.
“It’s about the Delta variant,” Morrison said at a press conference Friday. “The Delta strain is more contagious and so we are looking to take precautionary measures to generally reduce the risk.”
Heads of state and territory have agreed to a four-phase plan that will guide the country’s exit from the pandemic, but Morrison has given no clear indication on the chronology.
Australia is in the early stages, during which locks will only be used as a last resort.
While closures in parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory end Friday, Sydney and its surrounding regions are about half a two-week stay at home due to a growing number of outbreaks linked to the variant. Delta that have sprung up all over the city.
The second phase will not begin until everyone has access to the vaccine and a vaccination goal, which is yet to be decided, is hit. Some restrictions for vaccinated residents are expected to be facilitated at this stage.
Entering the third phase no longer means blocking and easing restrictions for vaccinated travelers, while phase four represents a return to normalcy.
John Frewen, Australian head of the vaccination campaign, said on Friday that 1.7 million residents of the country of 25 million had been completely vaccinated and 6.2 million, or 30 per cent of the population, had received at least one stroke. .