The Premier of South Australia is urging change for repatriation arrangements for overseas citizens and wants all returning travellers to undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests before boarding flights.
However, these changes would have to be approved by the National Cabinet.
The proposal was submitted as part of an eight-point plan outlined by Mr Steven Marshall today. This is in response to the coronavirus cluster linked to one of Adelaide’s medi-hotels which catered returning travellers.
Mr Marshall revealed this morning, “We will ask National Cabinet to consider testing all returning Australian citizens before their flights with a view that they must have negative test results before boarding.”
Yesterday, it was announced that the two people previously thought to have acquired COVID-19 overseas caught the virus while in quarantine at the Peppers Waymouth Hotel.
The Premier asserted that the change should sweep nationally so that overseas arrivals were tested before getting on flights, rather than just for flights coming into Adelaide. This is for the reason that flights were often rerouted. We’d need to do this from a national approach,” he said.
Meanwhile, South Australia cancelled all incoming flights until at least November 30 to sort out problems in the state’s medi-hotel system and allow space for locals associated with the Parafield cluster to quarantine.
Mr Marshall revealed he has written to the Commonwealth to ask that the pause should be extended. Since then, about 600 people had been arriving in Adelaide each week, with up to 1,200 in quarantine in CBD hotels.
The Premier rest assured, as per his statement, that they are still committed to the repatriation of Australian citizens who are stranded overseas, he promised to play their part.
“But we’re not going to rush into this. We’re going to gradually step back into receiving those people when we receive that advice from Health that it is safe to do so.” He added.