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NT to house 5000 ‘vulnerable’ returned Aussies in quarantine

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Howard Springs, approximately 29 kilometres south east of Darwin’s CBD, has a worker’s camp which will be deep cleaned and turned into a fortnightly quarantine centre.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is negotiating a deal with the Northern Territory to use its Howard Springs facility to house as many as 5000 repatriated Australians in quarantine.

Howard Springs, approximately 29 kilometres south-east of Darwin's CBD, has a worker's camp which will be deep cleaned and turned into a fortnightly quarantine centre.

Mr Morrison said it's expected that around 500 repatriated overseas will be quarantining at any one time with the facility to process as many as 5000.

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Scott Morrison addresses media in Sydney

Like many of the state arrangements, quarantine at Howard Springs will cost returned Aussies $2500 for an individual or $5000 for a family of four.

Not all returning Australians will be quarantined at Howard Springs.

"This agreement will extend until the end of March with both the opportunity to extend that agreement and expand should additional capacity to become available at that facility," Mr Morrison said.

"That would give us over that period of time, given the two-week quarantine period plus the cleansing of the facility in between groups coming through, of around about 5000 people over that period of time."

READ MORE: 'Vulnerable' Aussies prioritised on repatriation flights


The first travellers will be Australians who have deemed to be vulnerable by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Mr Morrison said repatriation flights are being organised out of the UK, South Africa and India.

Today Qantas confirmed it would be operating eight services to bring Australians home.

"Qantas is working with the Federal Government to bring home up to 1315 Australians currently stuck overseas," the airline said in a statement.

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"The national carrier will operate eight return services: four from New Delhi, three from London and one from Johannesburg during the next six weeks.

"Additional flights to other destinations may be announced in due course."

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The PM confirmed Qantas will be working from a priority list to ensure the most vulnerable are returned first.

"Qantas has the priority list of vulnerable passengers who are in the UK that get the first opportunity at those seats on those flights," Mr Morrison said.

"Our High Commission there is contacting all of those individuals and giving them the opportunity, through Qantas, to be on those flights so they can return.

"But the good news is of the around about just over 4000 Australians who are identified and DFAT identified as vulnerable on 18 September, just over a quarter of those have now been able to return to Australia."

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App StoreGoogle Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348

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Source: 9News

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