Queensland will start charging returned overseas travellers for quarantining in government arranged accommodation from July 1.
Adults will be charged $2800 for the 14-day stay, which includes $910 for food. The cost comes down to $3710 for couples, and a family of four will be charged $4620.
According to information posted on the Queensland Government website, the fees will reduce the financial burden of COVID-19 prevention measures on taxpayers.
“To date, the Queensland Government has spent more than $19 million accommodating international arrivals,” the website states.
“We project that figure to surpass $24 million by June 30. This was a critical measure to prevent COVID-19 but it also has been a costly measure to the public.”
Returning travellers also won’t be able to arrange to self-quarantine at home or at another pre-booked accommodation.
“This is due to the significant health risk that cannot be appropriately managed at other residences or accommodation providers,” the website states.
“The risk of quarantine not being strictly followed and the ability for people to mix more easily in the community creates an unacceptable risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community.”
A hardship scheme will be available and eligibility criteria will be made available ahead of July 1.
Those who can prove they booked their travel before midnight on June 17 won’t be required to pay for the quarantine accommodation.
Other states including NSW and Victoria have said they will continue paying for hotel quarantine for their returned residents but National Cabinet is considering whether overseas travellers should be charged.
Quarantine has so far cost the NSW Government more than $51 million to accommodate 25,188 people since the travel ban was enforced, figures obtained by the ABC show.