20 November 2020

ACT set to take repatriation flight next week

| Dominic Giannini
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Canberra Airport

The ACT is set to receive a repatriation flight of Australians next Thursday (26 November). Photo: Region Media.

The ACT is gearing up to receive one of two repatriation flights before Christmas on Thursday (26 November), with passengers returning to Australia on a Singapore Airlines flight.

It is not known how many people will be arriving, but it will likely be coming from Singapore.

Previous repatriation flights have brought around 150 Australians back to Canberra where they have had to undergo a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine.

“The ACT and Commonwealth governments have worked collaboratively to put in place processes to review the ACT’s hotel quarantine program’s systems and procedures in accordance with nationally agreed guidelines,” an ACT Government spokesperson said.

The ACT Government has repeatedly said its hotel quarantine process was robust and based on best practice.

The Jane Halton review did not identify any need for dramatic changes to the ACT’s hotel quarantine program “but there are some good recommendations around the separation of international from regular domestic guests in a hotel context”, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said previously.

READ ALSO Time to rethink city hotel quarantine system before another COVID-19 outbreak

Experts say the quarantine system is about to be really tested as the Federal Government increases the number of people being allowed back to Australia.

According to UNSW epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws , purpose-built facilities, as opposed to hotels where untrained staff are susceptible to dropping their guard, would be more suitable, safer locations in which to quarantine returning Australians.

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Michael Clarke6:34 am 21 Nov 20

Lets hope that Canberra does not have workers going from the Quarantine hotel to another job or subcontract the security. Quarantine Hotels in major centres can be risky.

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