Qld premier supports restrictions on India

·2-min read

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed a federal government decision to halt flights to Australia from COVID-19 ravaged India, but acknowledged it "will be difficult for families".

Cabinet's national security committee met on Tuesday to discuss harsher further measures and decide on assistance for the ailing country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Tuesday afternoon that all flights from India will be suspended until May 15, with indirect flights via ports such as Dubai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur also paused.

The decision comes as India recorded 323,144 new cases and 2771 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Ms Palaszczuk says it is the right decision in the current circumstances.

"I know the decision to suspend flights will be difficult for families, but it is the right decision at this time," she posted on Twitter.

"I welcome the Federal Government's decision to increase aid to India. We stand united to help."

Ms Palaszczuk had early on Tuesday called for all inbound flights from India to be suspended to protect Australia from the strain of the virus ravaging the country.

"Other countries have done a temporary suspension. I don't think it would be out of kilter for Queensland and Australia to also do the same," she said.

The premier also argued there was no way to safely quarantine arrivals from India in Australia's major cities, and again pushed for purpose built facilities in the regions.

"We will continue to see more lockdowns in our capital cities, unless we give due consideration to regional quarantine facilities," Ms Palaszczuk said.

The Queensland government has been campaigning to build a special quarantine camp near Toowoomba for months. The Wagner Group wants to build a facility at Wellcamp Airport, which would host up to 1000 travellers and 300 staff.

However, the project has stalled with Queensland seeking federal approval for international flights to land at the airport and the Commonwealth calling for more detail on the state's plan.

Queensland has recorded two new cases, both from Papua New Guinea and in hotel quarantine. They will both be transferred to hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, authorities are reviewing the status of travellers who entered quarantine after returning from Western Australia, where three cases sparked a lockdown that's now beginning to ease.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath says 236 individuals in hotel quarantine would begin being released from midday on Tuesday as long as they met a strict list of requirements.

They must have returned at least one negative COVID-19 test and must not have been to any of the 28 venues of concern listed by WA.

They must also provide contact details for the next fortnight and formally agree to isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms within 14 days of leaving the Peth and Peel regions.

Authorities are aware of at least one person in hotel quarantine who did visit a venue of concern and that person will have to remain in isolation.