International travellers returning to Australia via New South Wales will be charged thousands of dollars for their hotel quarantine accommodation, the state government has announced.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday said the measure would take effect from 12:01am July 18.
She noted the state has spent more than $65 million on quarantine accommodation for returned travellers.
“NSW is the gateway to Australia, with more than 35,000 Australians citizens and permanent residents returning from overseas processed through our hotel quarantine system since 29 March 2020,” she said.
“Australian residents have been given plenty of time to return home – and we feel it is only fair that they cover some of the costs of their hotel accommodation.”
Travellers will be charged $3000 for one adult, with $1000 per extra adult, and $500 per child. Additional costs won’t apply to children under the age of three·
The fees cover accommodation and daily meals, Berejiklian said.
After quarantining, travellers will receive an invoice to pay within 30 days, but “hardship arrangements will be available”.
Travellers who purchased their flights before 11:59pm July 12 will not be charged.
The state government will continue to fund security, transport, and logistics, with NSW Police, NSW Health officials, and the accommodation industry to continue to run the state’s hotel quarantine system.
The news follows the national cabinet’s Friday decision to begin charging travellers for hotel quarantine, and to reduce the total number of inbound flights into Australia by half.
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