Hundreds of Australian travellers being kept in mandatory quarantine in Sydney hotels are set to end their two-week confinement in time for Easter.
About 1300 people who arrived at Sydney International Airport after the clampdown on March 29 are finishing their 14-day quarantine on Saturday, NSW Police said.
They will undergo a final health check before they are allowed to leave for their homes around the country.
Police are overseeing the departures, assisted by health authorities, the Australian Defence Force and hotel staff.
Coaches will run to Sydney’s airport throughout the day, but some won’t be able to return to their home states on Saturday due to flight schedules.
“The remaining travellers are being assisted with alternate arrangements, as required,” police said in a statement on Saturday.
“The operation will run each day as returned travellers continue to complete their mandatory quarantines and depart hotels across Sydney CBD.”
The NSW health minister issued an order directing all overseas arrivals to go directly to a quarantine facility from March 29 to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
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Meanwhile Uruguay’s government says it will repatriate 112 Australians and New Zealanders from a cruise ship that has been stranded in the La Plata River near capital Montevideo since March 27.
The operation is to begin on Friday evening local time when the ship is scheduled to dock in the Port of Montevideo.
The Greg Mortimer is an Antarctic cruise ship operated by Aurora Expeditions.
The passengers, most of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus, are to be bussed to a special airport terminal with strict health controls.
They are scheduled to board a Melbourne-bound charter flight in the early morning hours of Saturday.
The “humanitarian corridor” will allow the 96 Australians and 16 New Zealanders to return to their homes but will not include passengers from other countries, who will remain on the ship pending negotiations with representatives of their home countries.
Uruguay’s Foreign Ministry said the ship was carrying citizens of the US, UK and Jamaica as well as people from various European countries.