The Australian Government will expand the capacity of its Howard Springs quarantine facilities to 2000 people but will not prematurely open international borders.
Speaking following a meeting of National Cabinet, Scott Morrison said his current advice is to keep international border arrangements as they are until the end of June.
In addition the PM confirmed that Australia’s international arrival facility at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory would be expanded to host up to 2000 travellers.
“That will be done over the next few months, and that is an important addition to the capacity of those quarantine facilities, to receive those return chartered flights that Australia has been putting in place for many, many months,” Mr Morrison said.
“That is where people will quarantine. The other arrival caps remain as we had them before.”
Mr Morrison said the consensus on international borders was “unanimous”, and he wished to see domestic travel and the internal economy “fully realised” before opening up to the rest of the world.
That policy includes foreign students, who Mr Morrison said would be welcomed if educational facilities chose to supplement funding for mandatory quarantine.
“We’ve always been happy to work with the international education sector if they want to put in place supplementary self-funded quarantine arrangements and flight arrangements,” Mr Morrison said.
“That has always been there for the international education industry, the large universities and others to go down that path.
“They haven’t chosen to go down that path.”