The pressure is off the ACT to increase its quarantine intake after the federal government confirmed the quarantine hub at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory would increase capacity.
International students would not be returning to Canberra's universities in any significant numbers anytime soon as Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed national cabinet made no progress on opening international borders.
"It would be good if we could get to that point but at this stage we're not at that point," Mr Morrison said following the national cabinet meeting on Friday.
"The opening of the international borders, we don't think is wise at this time, and for the period that we've suggested, and that's totally consistent with the medical advice."
The international education sector and universities could self-fund their own quarantine arrangements and flights, he said.
"That has always been there for the international education industry, the large universities and others to go down that path. They haven't chosen to go down that path. Our focus has remained on the responsibilities we have as a commonwealth," Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison announced the agreement with the Northern Territory government for the facility would more more than double its capacity to a new limit of 2000 return passengers on government-chartered flights
"We're currently at around 850, and there are wet season issues that we're currently dealing with - so we would expect that to occur around April-May," Mr Morrison said.
Hotel quarantine arrangements were most effective when they were close to major ports of entry, he said, but the government was not in a position to redirect commercial flights.
The Howard Springs facility was set up on the recommendation of Jane Halton's review in order to increase capacity of government charter flights.
National cabinet had not yet seen costed proposals to increase quarantine arrangements in other states and territories that would allow international students to return.
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