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Anyone entering Australia must first return a negative coronavirus test prior to departure, and masks will be mandatory on all flights going forward.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced these measures, along with the intention to reduce flight limits for international arrivals during the next month, today after the National Cabinet.

The series of new rules around travel is a direct response to the detection of the highly virulent new British strain of the virus in Australia.

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

Morrison said that from today passengers and crew must wear masks during any domestic flight and within all Australian airports.

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

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

International aircrews are required to undergo a COVID-19 test in Australia every seven days, they will have their own specialized quarantine location and will not be allowed to move.

“These measures, over the course of the next week, and the enforcement arrangements related to that, will be implemented by the Commonwealth and state governments,” Morrison said.

Along with the new rules for international travelers, Morrison said limits for international travelers entering Australia will be lowered.

  • NSW – 1505 travelers per week
  • Western Australia: 512 travelers per week
  • Queensland: 500 travelers per week
  • Victoria – no change
  • South Australia: unchanged (currently 490)

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

Greater Brisbane has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot at the Commonwealth level, which means it will be recognized by every state and territory in the country.

“The Brisbane hotspot, as we state it at the Commonwealth level, is different from a normal definition that we would apply to hotspots, but the rules have to be changed when new information and new uncertainties are introduced.” Mr Morrison said.

“And that’s the case in relation to this strain. That applies to Brisbane, Logan, Moreton, Redlands and Ipswich. This takes effect at 6pm tonight.”

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

“This is a dangerous situation, not just for Brisbane, but for all of Australia,” McGowan said.

As a result, a strict border with Queensland will be reestablished and take effect at midnight tonight.

Travel to Western Australia from Queensland will no longer be allowed, with some exceptions.

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