The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced at today's media briefing the decisions of the National Cabinet regarding flights.  He said that international passenger caps will be halved and all passengers, including on domestic flights, will have to wear masks as part of new protocols agreed to by National Cabinet.

Included in the requirements  is having people return a negative test before they travel to Australia with limited exemptions allowed for seasonal workers.

He also said there would be a 50 per cent reduction in international arrival caps until February 15.

"What we do know is that this new strain is some 70 per cent more transmissible than the previous strains of the virus.

"This strain is likely to become [the] more dominant strain of the virus globally."

"In the smaller jurisdictions — the ACT, the Northern Territory, Tasmania — they are very bespoke arrangements in relation to those airports and they'll be settled between the Commonwealth and those jurisdictions specifically,"

Under the new restrictions,  New South Wales will move to a weekly cap of around 1,500, Western Australia and Queensland 500, Victoria will not change as they are already operating at a lower capacity after their outbreak and South Australia will also not change its caps.

The Prime Minster Scott also spoke of the situation in  Brisbane as "serious" as residents in the city prepare to enter a three-day lockdown.  He backed the Queensland government's decision to enforce the restrictions after a quarantine hotel worker tested positive to the highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19.

NSW government in the meantime has announced that the lockdown in place in the northern beaches area will finish at midnight of Sunday, 10 January. The rest of Greater Sydney area remains on high alert and people in hot spot areas are still being requested to undergo testing and to remain at home.

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