International travellers returning home will soon be charged up to $3,000 each for hotel quarantine in South Australia, ending free supervised isolation for those coming into the state.
SA Premier Steven Marshall today announced that individuals will have to pay for 14-day quarantine in Adelaide hotels, starting from Saturday later this week.
An individual adult will be charged $3,000, with an extra $1,000 for another adult from the same family, plus $500 per child.
"Up until this point, taxpayers have been footing the bill," Mr Marshall said.
"The Prime Minister has said since March of this year — Australians overseas should get back.
"He's given them plenty of time — there will now be a charge from Saturday onwards."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged overseas Australians to return to the country on March 17, ahead of COVID-19 border closures.
Mr Marshall stressed today that SA was "still keen to assist with the national repatriation program" and added that his government would consider "hardship and payment terms" for travellers who may struggle to meet the cost of hotel quarantine.
Mr Marshall said the SA Government would not make any profit from the charges, but that they would recover costs.
Hundreds of Australians arriving at Adelaide Airport from overseas have been taken into mandatory hotel quarantine since the introduction of travel restrictions aimed at preventing COVID-19 outbreaks in South Australia.
Last week, Mr Marshall announced that all domestic travellers crossing into the state from Victoria would be "required" to take a COVID-19 test.
Health Minister Stephen Wade later clarified that testing would not be "mandatory" for Victorians, but that they were expected to take the test, and could be subject to a legal order to do so if they refused.
Policy in line with NSW model
The new quarantine payment policy follows the lead of the New South Wales Government, which yesterday announced that it would be charging travellers returning to Sydney for hotel quarantine.
Travellers to NSW will be charged using the same pricing model of $3,000 per individual, $1,000 per additional adult and $500 per child.
But those arriving in Sydney will have an extra week's notice — until next Saturday — than those returning to SA before the scheme kicks in.
By mid-last month, it had already cost the NSW Government $50 million to put more than 25,000 travellers through hotel quarantine, according to official figures obtained by ABC News at the time.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said yesterday more than 35,000 returned travellers have now been put up in Sydney hotels.