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Queensland to charge overseas travelers for hotel quarantine cost

Christian Fernsby |
From July 1, overseas arrivals in the Australian State of Queensland will have to pay for a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine, expected to be around 1,900 U.S. dollars per person, officials told Xinhua on Thursday.

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Queensland is the first Australian state to charge travelers for the two-week hotel stay since the measures were rolled out nationally in late March to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The charging scheme indicates 2,800 Australian dollars (1,932 U.S. dollars) for each adult, 3,710 Australian dollars (2,560 U.S. dollars) for couples and 4,620 Australian dollars (3,187 U.S. dollars) for a family of four, according to the Queensland Government website.

Arriving overseas travelers will not be allowed to undergo the required quarantine period anywhere other than government designated hotels due to the virus contamination risks.

However, travelers that can prove their trip was booked before midnight of June 17, will be exempted from the new rules.

Before the new rules, the accommodation related cost was solely on the shoulders of Queensland taxpayers with 19 million Australian dollars (13.11 million U.S. dollars) spent so far and projected to reach 24 million Australian dollars (16.56 million U.S. dollars) by June 30.

Queensland Government representatives expect the new charging scheme will greatly relieve the financial burden on the Queensland public for those COVID-19 containing measures.

Neighboring states like New South Wales and Victoria said they will continue to bear the cost of forced hotel quarantine for their own residents returning from overseas, while Australian National Cabinet was weighing the option of charging arriving overseas travelers.

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