Starting July 18, travelers who arrive in Sydney Airport on international flights will have to pay for their own two-week quarantine.

By Cailey Rizzo
July 13, 2020
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Mark Metcalfe/Stringer

After months of paying for travelers to quarantine for 14 days in hotels, Australia will no longer foot the bill.

The government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, announced that starting Saturday, July 18, travelers who arrive in Sydney Airport on international flights will have to pay for their own quarantine.

Since the hotel quarantine system began at the end of March, more than 35,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents have passed through.

“The NSW taxpayers have footed much of the bill so far, with more than $65 million spent on quarantine accommodation to house international travellers returning to Australia,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a press release on Sunday. “Australian residents have been given plenty of time to return home — and we feel it is only fair that they cover some of the costs of their hotel accommodation.”

Beginning July 18, international travelers who arrive in Sydney Airport will have to pay about $2,085 (3,000 AUD) for their mandatory 14-day quarantine. Those who are traveling in groups will be able to pay lower fees, with additional adults paying only about $700 (1,000 AUD) and additional children about $350 (500 AUD). Children under the age of three will not have to pay for quarantine.

The cost includes accommodation and food for all 14 days of the mandatory quarantine. Travelers who purchased their return tickets to Australia before July 12 will not have to pay the quarantine charges. Travelers experiencing financial hardship may qualify for a payment plan.

At the moment, the only people allowed into Australia are citizens, residents, or immediate family. Australia could potentially remain closed to international visitors until 2021, tourism officials said in June, though a reopening plan and timeline is in progress.

Australia has reported 9,980 cases of coronavirus and 108 people have died, per Johns Hopkins University data. After a second outbreak in the suburbs of Melbourne, the area went into a second lockdown that will last until at least July 29.