Anyone coming into Australia must first return a negative coronavirus test before departure, and masks will be mandatory on all flights going forward.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced these measures, along with the intent to reduce flight caps for international arrivals for the next month, today following National Cabinet.

The raft of new rules around travel are in direct response to the detection of the new highly-virulent UK strain of the virus in Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison after today’s National Cabinet meeting. (9News)

Mr Morrison said from today passengers and crew must wear masks throughout any domestic flight and inside all Australian airports.

Children under 12 and those with specific medical conditions are exempt from this rule.

Australian passengers and crew must also be masked on any international flights or in overseas airports.

International air crews must undergo a COVID-19 test in Australia every seven days, and will have their own specialist quarantine location, and are not allowed to move around.

“These measures, over the course of the next week, and the compliance arrangements that sit around that, will be put in place by the Commonwealth and the state governments,” Mr Morrison said.

Alongside new rules for international travellers, Mr Morrison said there will be reduced caps on international travellers entering Australia.

NSW – 1505 travellers a weekWestern Australia – 512 travellers a weekQueensland – 500 travellers a weekVictoria – no changeSouth Australia – no change (currently 490)

“That will be reviewed now by 15 February, not under the arrangement we previously had, which was at the end of this month,” the prime minister said.

Greater Brisbane has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot on a Commonwealth level, meaning it will be recognised by every state and territory in the country. 

“The Brisbane hotspot, as we are declaring it at a Commonwealth level – it is different to a normal definition we’d apply to hotspots, but you’ve got to change the rules when there is new information and new uncertainties being introduced,” Mr Morrison said.  

“And that is the case in relation to this strain. That applies to Brisbane, Logan, Moreton, Redlands, and Ipswich. This comes into effect at 6pm this evening.” 

Following National Cabinet, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan described the positive case of the mutant strain of COVID-19 in Brisbane as “extremely concerning”.

“This is a dangerous situation, not only for Brisbane, but for the whole of Australia,” Mr McGowan said.

As a result, a hard border with Queensland will be reinstated and will come into effect at midnight tonight.

Travel into Western Australia from Queensland will no longer be permitted, with some exemptions.



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