"The pandemic is raging." Morrison says flight pause will be temporary.
Scott Morrison says the government is committed to bringing more Australians home from overseas, but can't risk a third wave of COVID-19.
As the prime minister continues to cop flak over the decision to ban flights back from India until May 15, he is warming to the idea of a quarantine centre in Victoria and talking up the expansion of the Northern Territory's Howard Springs to a 2000-bed capacity.
A proposal for a quarantine facility in the Queensland city of Toowoomba appears doomed, as @ScottMorrisonMP says the government is committed to bringing more Australians home from overseas, but can’t risk a third wave of COVID-19. #COVID19 #auspol #7NEWS https://t.co/zNn9Iug4v7— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) May 4, 2021
However, a proposal for a quarantine facility in the southern Queensland city of Toowoomba appears doomed. Cabinet minister David Littleproud said the Wellcamp facility - aimed at hosting up to 1000 travellers and 300 staff - would expose western Queensland to COVID risk.
The prime minister said the latest figures on positive cases in passengers coming out of India demanded the government pause flights.
"The pandemic is raging," he said.
"And so my government will take the steps necessary and the actions necessary to protect Australians so we can also bring more Australians home safely."
Eight crossbenchers have written to Mr Morrison asking him to revoke the biosecurity pause, urgently repatriate Australians in India starting with the most vulnerable and set up a dedicated surge capacity quarantine facility.
#auspol Eight crossbenchers in Lower & Upper Houses have written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging him to set up a dedicated surge quarantine facility to bring Aussies home from India. @10NewsFirst pic.twitter.com/E76TbCJIFU— Tegan George (@tegangeorge) May 4, 2021