As of the 20th of March, foreigners have been banned from entering Australia.
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has stated that these precautions have been put in place by the Australian Government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Australian soil.
You can travel to Australia if you are:
- An Australian citizen
- A permanent resident of Australia
- A New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia
- An immediate family member of Australian citizens and permanent residents
These travel restrictions apply to both non-residents and non-citizens.
Citizens and permanent residents of Australia, as well as immediate family, are still allowed to return from overseas, but will be required to self isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Australia.
These new travels restrictions have replaced earlier restrictions which saw foreign nationals in China, Iran, Italy and South Korea banned from entering Australia.
Mr Morrison stated that these earlier travel bans significantly reduced the number of people travelling to Australia to one-third of normal levels.
The new travel ban means that those with working holiday, or student visas, who are currently outside of Australia, will not be allowed to enter Australia. These restrictions could potentially remain in place for the next six months, or even longer.
“About 80 per cent of the cases we have in Australia are either the results of someone who has contracted the virus overseas or someone who has had direct contact with someone who has returned from overseas,” Mr Morrison said.
The Department of Home Affairs stated that they will station Australian Border Force Liaison Officers at overseas airports to work with airlines in identifying travellers that are banned from entering Australia. These travellers will then be stopped from boarding flights to Australia.
Fortunately for airlines, foreign airline crew will be exempt from this travel ban. Airlines are advised to take appropriate precautions during layovers, which includes making staff self-isolate for 14 days within Australia.
Citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand are also allowed to enter the country, provided they self-isolate for 14 days. Australian citizens and permanent residents that live within New Zealand are also permitted to enter New Zealand but must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia has surpassed 1000.
- Globally, there are over 300,000 individuals which have been infected, with approximately 90,000 who have recovered.
Travelling from overseas
- All people that are allowed to enter Australia must self isolate for 14 days
- You may board a domestic flight to your intended destination in Australia to self-isolate there.
- If you are well and not symptomatic, you may self-isolate in a hotel.
- If travellers do not comply with their 14 day self-isolation requirements, they may face a range of penalties that exist in each State or Territory.
How will Australia enforce coronavirus self-isolation rules for overseas arrivals?
New South Wales:
- Under the NSW Public Health ACT, those that enter Australia from another country must self-isolate for 14 days. If you do not comply, you will be subject to fines of up to AUD11,000 or six months’ imprisonment.
- Anyone that does not self-isolate for 14 days could potentially receive a fine of almost AUD20,000 for individuals, or AUD100,000 for companies.
- Under the Public Health Act 2005, those that fail to comply will receive fines of up to AUD13,345.
- The ACT has declared a public health emergency in response to the coronavirus. Anyone who breaches the self-isolation requirements could face an AUD8,000 fine.
- Anyone that breaches the 14-day self-isolation order in Western Australia could face a fine of AUD50,000 or possible jail time.
- Under the Notifiable Disease Act, any breach of the self-isolation requirements could result in penalties of up to AUD1,256 or six months prison time.
- The SA parliament have recently passed new laws that give public health officers more power to manage self-isolation. Failure to comply, under the Public Health Act 2011, could result in a maximum fine of AUD25,000.
- As of the 19th of March, Tasmania will be requiring everyone that arrives in the state, or on Flinders, or King Islands, to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. This also applies to citizens and permanent residents of Australia that are simply travelling from mainland Australia. The only exemption to these regulations, include health care workers, who are entering Tasmania due to “essential” travel needs. The penalty for breaching this requirements could result in a fine of up to AUD16,800 or six months imprisonment.
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