Australian Defense Force members to quarantine at home upon international arrivals

2021-09-15 04:35:13 GMT2021-09-15 12:35:13(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CANBERRA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Australian Defense Force (ADF) personnel will be among the first international arrivals to Australia to partake in a trial program of at-home quarantine.

The South Australian government announced on Wednesday that 90 ADF members who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 returning from "lower risk" countries will take part in an expanded home quarantine trial.

It will be the first time a group of international arrivals to Australia will be allowed to spend their mandatory 14-day quarantine period at their homes rather than in hotels since March 2020.

It comes after a "very successful start" to SA's home quarantine trial for domestic travellers from COVID hotspots.

Participants in the trial are required to use the Home Quarantine SA smart phone application, which uses location and facial recognition software to track people in quarantine.

Premier Steven Marshall said the "innovative" app has received positive feedback.

"What we learn from the domestic and international Home Quarantine SA trials could help the entire nation to safely repatriate more Australians coming home from overseas," he said in a media release on Wednesday.

Under the Australian government's four stage roadmap out of the pandemic, international arrivals from low-risk countries could be able to quarantine at home when 80 percent of the adult population is inoculated against coronavirus.

So far about 68.5 percent of Australians aged 16 and older had received at least one vaccine dose and 43.2 percent were fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Health.

On Wednesday morning, Australia reported 1,695 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19.

New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state with Sydney as the capital city, reported 1,259 new cases and 12 deaths.

"There have been 198 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since 16 June 2021," said the statement from NSW Health.

Victoria, the second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, reported a further 423 new local cases and two deaths.

There were 13 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) , where the COVID-19 lockdown has been extended by a month as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections. Enditem