Australia expands entry ban to foreign travelers from Italy as of March 12 due to COVID-19. Other restrictions remain in effect.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 12 Mar 2020 07:46 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Longer immigration wait times, enhanced health screenings; possible flight and business disruptions, quarantine measures

Summary
Australia has expanded travel restrictions to include foreign passengers from Italy as of March 12 to help prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Officials also extended an entry ban for passengers who traveled or transited mainland China, South Korea, and Iran through at least March 21. Under the travel restriction, officials are preventing foreign nationals who have visited or transited the affected countries within 14 days of arrival from entering the country. Permanent residents, long-term pass holders, and diplomats, as well as their immediate relatives, are exempt from the restriction. However, these individuals must self-quarantine for 14 days after their arrival. Officials are also reviewing entry requests for some students from mainland China on a case-by-case basis. Authorities continue to review the measures regularly, and additional restrictions or adjustments to the policy are possible in the coming weeks.

The government is reportedly considering extending travel restrictions to additional European countries but has not publicized any measures as of March 12. Authorities could announce restrictions without notice.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) also upgraded its travel advisory for Italy to level 3 (reconsider travel) and level 4 (do not travel) to Italy's Lombardy Region and Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio nell' Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Vercelli, Padova, Treviso, and Venezia provinces. Authorities are maintaining alert level 3 for South Korea and level 4 warnings for Daegu, South Korea, mainland China, and Iran.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Allow considerable extra time to clear customs and immigration if arriving from Italy due to enhanced health screenings. Rebook flights to avoid transiting mainland China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Department of Home Affairs: www.homeaffairs.gov.au

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