The state of Victoria has announced it will open up its borders to enable the resumption of international travel, with the state government saying it will re-launch its hotel quarantine program.
Victoria’s international travel resumption is set to come into effect on April 8th.
The state says it will accept up to 800 international passengers per week, and is planning to scale these numbers up to 1,120 per week by the middle of April.
Scaling up these numbers is dependent on a review of the state’s ventilation systems and upgrades to hotel quarantine within Victoria.
According to the government, more than 93% of Victoria’s 4,000 quarantine workers have received the first of their two vaccine doses; the second of which is currently being administered to those workers.
“We’ve taken the action and time necessary to ensure we have the most rigorous quarantine system possible in place to protect against these highly infectious, rapidly changing variants of concer,” Victoria’s acting Premier, James Merlino said.
“These challenges of this virus will be with us for some time to come, that’s why we’ve listened to the advice of experts and made the necessary changes to ensure we’re keeping Victorians safe,” he added.
In February, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that international flights into Melbourne would be cancelled, shortly after an outbreak of the UK’s COVID-19 variant resulted in a five-day hard lockdown of the state; the third in total for Victoria.
Government figures have blamed the state’s hotel quarantine locations, and their poor ventilation infrastructure for contributing to the spread of the UK variant within Victoria.
Amongst the new rules being introduced by the state government, N95 masks will be required for anyone within a ‘red zone’, with three Victorian hotels being given the tick of approval by the government to accommodate quarantining passengers.