Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday that his country would not ban flights from Britain because it would introduce a mandatory quarantine regime in isolation hotels for 14 days.
Although the new strain of coronavirus, which has caused chaos in Britain, has also been detected by a small number of australians, the Australian Health Minister said his country has no plans to suspend flights with Britain, according to the Guardian newspaper.
Hunt told reporters that Australia's hotel isolation system, under which all arrivals are subjectto a 14-day quarantine, means Australia will not suspend flights with Britain like other countries have done.
"One of the things in Europe is that they don't adopt a hotel stone system," he said.
Australia's chief medical officer, Professor Paul Kelly, said the new strain of the virus, known as the N501Y mutation, should be put in place, adding: "There have been thousands of mutations of this particular coronavirus, there is no conclusive evidence that this is a serious change, more recent transmissions have been recorded in the south-east of the UK, possibly linked to the virus."
He continued: "The infectious factor (source to patient) has changed a bit, but many people are moving around the south-east of England, and they still do until the last closure. We are in winter too."
"As far as this means for people coming from the UK, everyone coming will be quarantined at the hotel for 14 days."
"While the quarantine system has not been proven to be 100% safe to stop transmission, it still protects society to a large extent," said Dr Linda Sylvie, a public health doctor and infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Queensland, Australia.
"Moreover, it is highly probable that the new strain has already spread beyond the UK."
Many countries in Europe and beyond have suspended flights with Britain, fearing the new strain of the virus will be transmitted to it, after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new strain was faster than its counterpart, causing concern among many health systems around the world, pushing foreign governments to close their borders, and re-tightening precautions to contain the virus.