The Australian Government has recently announced that they will be implementing strict travel restrictions in response to the global outbreak of the coronavirus.
From the 1st of February 2020, those that are travelling to Australia from any part of mainland China, will have to go through significantly enhanced border control measures in order to ensure the safety, health and well-being of Australians. From the 1st of February, anyone that has recently left or passed through mainland China will be denied entry, except:
- Permanent residents
- Australian Citizens
- Spouses, legal guardians and minor dependents of Australian citizens and permanent residents.
All other foreign nationals that have travelled to mainland China on or after the 1st of February will not be permitted to enter Australia until 14 days after they have left mainland China. These prohibitions apply to those that are seeking to enter Australia, as well as those that wish to transit through Australia to enter another country. According to the Australian government, all airlines have, or will stop direct services to mainland China.
Australia currently has 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with four of those affected among the 65 confirmed cases of coronavirus that are currently aboard the Diamond Princess Cruise which has docked at Yokohama in Japan for quarantine purposes.
The Australian Government all Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members that have travelled to mainland China to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of departure from mainland China.
In light of the current Coronavirus alert, Australian Visa Application Centres (AVAC) in China are temporarily closed. You should check the AVAC website for updates.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
The symptoms may vary but include cough, sore throat, fever, vomiting, nausea and shortness of breath. Infection can be spread within 15 minutes of spending time with a person who carries the virus and it can take up to 14 days for these symptoms to show after the person is infected. High risk individuals include those that have travelled from mainland China recently, or those that have been in contact with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
You do not need to isolate yourself if you:
- Left mainland China before 1st of February 2020 and did not travel in Hubei Province ‘
- Have only travelled in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
These restrictions are temporary and will be reviewed on the 14th of February 2020.
Impact on International Travellers
If you are not an Australian citizen, permanent resident or a spouse, minor dependent or legal guardian of an Australian citizen or permanent resident then you are advised not to travel to Australia at this point in time.
Those that attempt to travel to Australia from mainland China will not be allowed to board their flight. As of the 1st of February, those that do arrive in Australia and it is found that you have been to mainland China, then your visa will subsequently be cancelled and you will be placed in quarantine for a period of time in an alternative place of detention. According to the Australian Government, these cancelled visas will be reinstated once the travel restrictions have been lifted. More information on these arrangements will be received at a later date.
Impact on Temporary Visa Holders
Those that are travelling on a temporary visa are ineligible for entry into Australia according to this current measure. Those that do not abide by these requirements will have their visa cancelled.
Impact on International Students
Approximately 100,000 international students are unable to return to Australia for the start of semester due to the current travel ban. Some Australian Universities have taken the initiative to delay the start of semester, due to the coronavirus travel restrictions that are currently in place. Students that are unable to return to Australia to continue their studies may have to defer their studies. According to the Department of Home Affairs, this will not affect the visa status, however a student that needs additional time to complete their studies, that exceeds their visa expiry date, will need to apply for a new student visa and will need to obtain a new Confirmation of Enrolment.
According to the World Health Organisation, those that are travelling to any destination that is currently dealing with cases of novel coronavirus should follow these recommendations:
Before you travel:
- If you are travelling with children, are pregnant or have a weak immune system, make sure you talk to your doctor.
- Check with your cruise operator, travel agent, airline or accommodation provider and travel insurance provider to find out any potential changes in service.
- Understand the risks involved in travel and make considerations for travel disruption and restrictions that may be put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus.
If you are looking to study, visit, work or migrate to Australia, Results Migration’s team of experienced migration agents that are available to guide you through this complex area of law. Call Results Migration on 1800 808 717 or email us on info at resultsmigration.com.au and book your free consultation today!