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Flights cut to ease pressure on quarantine

Australians wanting to return home from overseas will have to wait longer after the government halved international flight arrivals to ease pressure on hotel quarantine systems.

Returning Australians will also be made to pay for mandatory two-week stays in hotel quarantine as the country tries to manage the dramatic increase in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the changes after a national cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders on Friday.

The reduction of flight arrivals from Monday will mean 4000 fewer people can return home every week.

All states will soon charge people for their fortnight in quarantine.

Victoria recorded 288 new cases on Friday, the highest daily increase of any state since the pandemic began.

The state now has over 1000 active cases, up from 60 last month.

"The news from Victoria remains very concerning," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

He said the Melbourne outbreak showed how important it was for people to keep their distance from each other.

"It is still not OK for hugs and handshakes," he said.

"It's important to maintain the discipline of the social distancing behind closed doors, not just out in the public space."

Tasmania has delayed plans to reopen its domestic borders while Western Australia has put off a final easing of restrictions as they keep an eye on the Victorian situation.

NSW had 14 new cases and the state's health minister highlighted two of serious concern.

One was a man from Liverpool who was at the same pub last Saturday as a woman who tested positive earlier in the week. They did not know each other.

Health authorities have closed the Crossroads Hotel in Casula and set up a coronavirus testing centre in its carpark.

The second case was a man who had driven directly from Melbourne on the eve of the border closure to stay in a caravan park in the Sutherland area.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the state's biggest risk was people who had "ducked out of Melbourne" to evade lockdowns.

"Go home, go back to your area and comply with the government laws," he said.

The ACT had one new case on Friday, linked to four others related to the Melbourne outbreaks, while a US marine newly arrived in Darwin tested positive during initial quarantine screening.

Mr Morrison will speak with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday about the trans-Tasman travel bubble.

But he urged patience, with borders to remain shut for the foreseeable future.

In the past month, more than 28,000 people have arrived in Australia from overseas, with more than half landing in Sydney.

Former health department secretary Jane Halton will lead a review of hotel quarantine after breaches in Victoria's system fanned infection rates in Melbourne.

© AAP 2020