CANBERRA – Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned that the number of returning travellers allowed to enter the country could be limited.

The number of Australians returning to the country amid the coronavirus pandemic has steadily fallen since March but Morrison on Wednesday said that he would take a proposal for a cap on the number to the National Cabinet to ease the mounting pressure on hotel quarantine.

Everyone who has entered Australia since March has been subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period in hotels upon their arrival.

Morrison did not reveal how arrivals would be limited under his plan but said it was important that numbers be contained to prevent hotel quarantine failures such as the one which has caused a spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria.

“The issue is what the overall level of returning Australians is, and that’s why I’ll be bringing a proposal on Friday to reduce that load,” he told reporters.

“There is a volume that can be accommodated by the states and territories currently but they certainly wouldn’t want to see that increase.”

“At this time, we don’t want to put any more pressure on the system than is absolutely necessary.”

The governments of Western Australia (WA) and New South Wales (NSW) have preempted Morrison by introducing their own cap on international arrivals.

NSW will accept a maximum of 425 returned travellers per day compared to 75 per day in WA.

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