Australian authorities announce an extension of a ban on foreign passengers from mainland China and Iran in late February.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 29 Feb 2020 13:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Entry restrictions, health screenings

Summary
Authorities in Australia expanded travel restrictions late February in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Restrictions on travel from mainland China have been extended through March 7. New restrictions for travel from Iran were announced Feb. 27 and will be implemented from March 1. The Australian authorities continue to note that the measures are temporary and are being regularly reviewed. Additional restrictions or relaxation of restrictions are possible in the coming weeks.

Travel to and from Iran

As of March 1, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has upgraded its travel advisory for Iran from level 3 to 4 (do not travel). From March 1, foreign nationals who have been in or transited Iran in the previous 14 days will be barred from entering Australia. Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family members traveling from Iran will need to self-isolate at home for 14 days from the date of departing Iran.

Travel to and from China

Any person arriving from mainland China will be subject to enhanced border control measures. Most persons who have left or transited mainland China over the previous 14 days will be denied entry. The exceptions are Australian citizens, permanent residents, diplomats, and immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents. Exemptions are also made for airline and maritime crew, where adequate precautionary measures have been taken. The measures, which are in place until at least March 7, include persons who intend transiting Australia to another country. The DFAT's travel advice for China remains level 4 (do not travel).

The Australian government has also advised international travelers, excluding Australian nationals and other exempted groups, who have been in mainland China since Feb. 1 not to travel to Australia. Persons who do travel and where local authorities determine travel to mainland China in the previous 14 days, will have their visas considered for cancelation.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Rebook flights to avoid transiting mainland China and Iran. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. All persons outside of Australia with recent travel to Iran and mainland China should regularly check Australian government sources for updates and advisories.

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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