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Australia may cut quarantine for low-risk Countries such as Thailand to 8 days

10 Nov 2020

According to research, Australia's mandatory two-week hotel quarantine could be cut to just eight days for arrivals from low-risk coronavirus countries such as Thailand and New Zealand. 

New research from the Minderoo Foundation and the Burnet Institute of Medical Research by mining magnate Andrew Forrest claims that it would be possible to safely cut the isolation time to help boost the economy, The Australian reported. 

Australia could manage the reopening of our interstate and international borders easily, safely and sensitively, turbocharging the economic recovery of the country from the Covid-19 recession,' said Steve Burnell, chief researcher of Minderoo.

'The 14-day universal quarantine is an outdated, one-size-fits-all approach that adversely affects the Australian economy and the lives of countless people.' 

Back in March, the hotel quarantine program in Australia was launched to stop coronavirus from entering the country by returning travelers. 

But researchers believe that a risk-based model could be implemented to modify the software, called 'traqQ'. 

At the beginning of their journey, travelers would be tested and two Covid-19 tests would be conducted at the end of the quarantine, regardless of how long the traveler was isolated.

When combined with a seven-day quarantine, such enhanced testing decreases the risk of individuals remaining infectious after release by a third,' Dr. Burnell said. 

Based on the national number of coronavirus cases and test numbers, countries would be classified into five different risk categories, from low to high. 

The risk assessment would determine how long a quarantine is required for travelers. 

Present trends suggest that the low-risk category would be South Korea, Singapore, Cuba, Togo, and Sri Lanka with seven days in quarantine. 

Both states and territories have been identified as a very low risk, with researchers determining that domestic travel requires no quarantine.

As they battle a second wave of the virus, Europe and the US would then fall into the very high-risk category. 

Australia's international border is expected to remain closed until mid-2021 at least, but officials are working with New Zealand on a travel bubble. 

Kiwis are currently able to travel without the need for 14-day isolation to NSW and Northern Territory, but arrivals to New Zealand are required to complete a quarantine for a fortnight.

 

Source: Daily Mail