International arrivals in Sydney are being capped at 450 a day in a bid to ensure the hotel quarantining system is not stretched to breaking point, with travellers seemingly avoiding Victoria and Queensland.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said some returning travellers appeared to have changed their plans and decided to head to NSW in light of Victoria's spike in COVID-19 cases and the Queensland government now charging for accommodation.
"It is crucial that the volume of returning passengers not overrun the capacity of NSW Health to meet and assess every international passenger at Sydney Airport and not exhaust Health, Police and ADF resources to manage our quarantine hotels," Mr Hazzard said on Saturday.
Up to 50 people will be allowed per incoming flight under the new federal government limits, which come at the request of the NSW government and kick in from midnight.
All people in hotel quarantine are being tested on day two and day 10 of their fortnight-long stays.
Screening is also operating on domestic flights and interstate trains originating in Melbourne.