Cap increased for Australians returning to Perth from overseas


The Prime Minister said the Commonwealth would make available more Australian Defence Force staff to help support the increase in hotel quarantining that would be required by the increase in the cap. There are about 110 ADF personnel in WA assisting with hotel quarantining.

He said it was likely the number would again be increased in a safe way.

But the increase was not coming as quickly as Mr Morrison would have liked.

He said there were issues raised by the WA government, and to a lesser degree Queensland’s, about how long they would take to get their quarantine system up to the required capability.

This week, Premier Mark McGowan criticised the Commonwealth when Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack revealed the increase in WA’s cap.

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“From time to time we disagree on this and that, when when we get into the room we sort it out,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr McGowan said the new agreement on an extended timeline was more sensible and workable.

“However, it still does present a risk to Western Australia,” he said.

“We have 1962 people in hotel quarantine across eight hotels in Perth. Recklessly doubling the arrivals overnight is not the way to deal with this issue, especially when we are dealing with a deadly virus.

“It’s not simply about beds, it’s about the capacity of qualified people. The more health specialists we pull from hospitals to assist with quarantine the more difficulty we have in managing our hospitals.”

Mr McGowan said WA Police and the Health Department would work on the expanded hotel quarantine plan. He said it would be necessary to stand up an additional quarantine hotel.

“We desperately don’t want to see what happened in Melbourne happen in WA,” the Premier said.

Health Minister Roger Cook said each quarantine hotel required three doctors and nine nurses.

“Every time we stand up another hotel, that’s another cohort we have to draw away from the health system, so we want to minimise this as much as we can,” he said.

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