World News

Australia to cut number of citizens coming home as virus cases rise - PM

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference held with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Admiralty House in Sydney, Australia, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will cut the number of citizens allowed to return from overseas each week by 50%, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, amid a surge of coronavirus cases in the country’s second largest state.

Australia has since March only allowed citizens and permanent residents to return, but Morrison said the number of people permitted to return will now be capped nationally.

Morrison said in recent weeks about 8,000 people have returned each week. From Monday, a maximum of 4,000 people will be allowed to return each week.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Jacqueline Wong