Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced Australians now overseas will have a much harder time getting back on home soil, with the Federal Government confirming global flights into Australia will be slashed by half.
Health and security breaches in quarantine hotels in Melbourne have been blamed for sparking the outbreak there, and nationwide returning overseas travellers have accounted for the majority of Covid-19 cases in Australia.
The Prime Minister will put a proposal to National Cabinet on Friday that would cap the number of worldwide flights arriving in Australia in a bid to reduce the cost and logistic burden falling on the states to administer hotel quarantines.
Returning travellers will also be asked to pay for the cost of their 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine period.
Authorities are struggling to contain a coronavirus outbreak in the country's second most populous city.More news: Hyper Scape Open Beta Out
"It will get worse before it gets better", Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told a televised news conference.
Since March, Australia has allowed only citizens and permanent residents to enter the country.
Morrison said that from Monday, Australia will cap the figures at 4,000 people each week, about half the number that have been returning.
Global arrivals will be cut by half, with all states moving to charge returning residents for hotel quarantine.
Each states have had an increase of return global travellers, given an worldwide flight ban now in place for Victoria given their surge in coronavirus cases.More news: United Nations aid route to Syria cut to one
To ease the pain for businesses in Melbourne forced to shut again and holiday spots hit by cancellations, the state government also said it would provide a further A$534 million ($371 million), on top of A$6 billion already provided.
Morrison said national cabinet had been briefed on economic recovery by the Productivity Commission chair, Michael Brennan, who had claimed that a "flexible economy would be the most successful in recovering from the Covid-19 recession".
Despite surging numbers of cases in Victoria, Andrews has relaxed restrictions on most of the 3,000 people locked down in nine public-housing towers.
It was the highest daily jump in new infections since the outbreak took off in Melbourne in mid-June, with officials linking the increase to a record amount of testing for the virus. One of the nine towers will remain in a hard lockdown for another eight days.
The nation of 25 million has so far recorded just over 9,000 COVID-19 cases, 106 of them fatal.More news: One more Ubisoft leak reveals Assassin's Creed Valhalla's launch day