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PM calls special National Cabinet meeting over variant coronavirus threat

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called a special meeting of National Cabinet this Friday to discuss strengthening Australia’s COVID protocols for returning travellers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called a special meeting of National Cabinet this Friday to discuss strengthening Australia's COVID-19 protocols for returning travellers.

Announcing the unscheduled meeting via social media, Mr Morrison said the UK's new highly transmissible strain will be discussed.

It's thought measures such as mandatory testing of passengers before they board a flight to Australia will be considered.

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"This afternoon I contacted Premiers and Chief Ministers to convene a special meeting of National Cabinet on Friday morning," Mr Morrison wrote.

"The meeting is to consider a proposal that I requested through our Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, from our national expert medical panel, the AHPPC.

"The proposal is to further strengthen the COVID safety of end to end international travel processes (from arrival at Airport of embarkation in the exit country, to final clearance from hotel quarantine in Australia). This is being done particularly in the context of the UK strain."

Mr Morrison said the rollout of a vaccine within Australia will also be discussed.

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"The AHPPC has continued to meet every day during this most recent outbreak, and had an initial discussion of their proposal today," Mr Morrison wrote.

"They will discuss the proposal further tomorrow before making a formal submission to National Cabinet.

"The meeting will also provide an opportunity to further update National Cabinet on the Federal Government's vaccination programme, where considerable progress is being made over the break."

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Debate between state governments has raged over the way internal quarantining of overseas travellers has been conducted.

Currently, Sydney accepts the majority of international travellers and that is where they undertake hotel quarantine before taking a connecting flight to their home state.

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google 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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