Overseas arrival caps to increase from November

Scott Morrison has announced Australia will lift its arrival caps again from next month, with multiple states giving their caps a healthy boost.

“(There will be) an additional 140 next month in Western Australia,” he told reporters after National Cabinet met on Friday.

“Another 150 in Queensland, but we have also got continued support out of South Australia, the ACT, and we have the arrangement with the Northern Territory that I announced last week.

“Tasmania stands ready to assist – I want to be very clear – but as they don‘t yet have an International Airport and those systems in place, if we needed to stand that up in order to achieve what we have set out (to) then we will certainly do that.”

There are currently more than 30,000 Australians still stranded overseas.

The Prime Minister said there were about 26,200 Australians who registered themselves as needing to get home on September 18 and 4100 of those were vulnerable.

Since then, he said 1278 vulnerable Australians have returned – 4591 in total – excluding a Qantas flight from London that landed in Darwin on Friday afternoon.

The Qantas flight is the first of eight charter flights that have been made available for about 5000 Australians stuck around Europe, India and South Africa.

National Cabinet on Friday made another ‘in-principle agreement’ to have the nation’s borders reopened by Christmas, under a plan the PM displayed to media shortly after the meeting (pictured). Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia

“We continue to make good progress towards returning Australians home,” Mr Morrison said.

“We want to do that as effectively and quickly and as safely as possible and we will continue to work with all state and territory jurisdictions to facilitate that whenever we can.”

The National Cabinet also made another in-principle agreement to have the nation’s borders open again by Christmas – with the exemption of Western Australia which continues to hold reservations.

“We agreed in principle again … on the reopening framework for Australia by Christmas.

“This is the plan, it sets it out. It will be very familiar to many.

“Importantly, this plan not only details the opening of the various activities within the economy and our community and society … an important part of this plan is it includes the necessary actions to support a public health response.”

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said Australia was doing “remarkably well”, with just over 200 active cases across the country.

Professor Kelly said there had been no new aged care cases since September 28, and of the 19 patients currently in hospital, none were in intensive care.

“We’re doing remarkably well in the last seven days,” he said. “Only 109 new cases, of those almost 80 per cent are actually overseas acquired.”

More to come

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