Australian state to resume receiving int’l arrivals

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SYDNEY, March 25 (Xinhua) — Australia’s state of Victoria will resume taking international arrivals from April 8, nearly six weeks after the state banned international flights due to infection in quarantine hotel that triggered a five-day lockdown.

The state will start from an arrival cap of 800 people per week and scale up to 1,120 people per week subject to capacity and the completion of ventilation works, according to announcement by the state’s Acting Premier James Merlino on Thursday.

State government said the decision was made after independent expert reviews into the management of new, highly-infectious and rapidly changing variants of concern, and an evaluation into how each hotel ventilation system can respond to this ever-changing virus.

“The challenges of this virus will be with us for some time to come, that’s why we’ve listened to the advice of experts and made the necessary changes to ensure we’re keeping Victorians safe,” said Merlino.

The state also made several improvements to the existing hotel quarantine system, including developing a new Victorian standard for ventilation systems and upgrading hotels where necessary to comply with the standard.

Testing of hotel residents will be boosted from two to four times during their quarantine period, with follow up tests recommended after quarantine, based on medical advice.

Professional hygienist physician and a team of engineers and other specialists will conduct room-by-room assessments on quarantine hotel ventilation.

According to the state government, more than 4,150 frontline quarantine workers already received jab of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, and the rollout of the second dose is underway.

The state has marked 27 days since its last case of local transmission. Enditem

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