All Australians Coming Home From Overseas Will Have To Self-Isolate For Two Weeks
The Australian government has introduced strict guidelines for people returning from overseas amid the coronavirus outbreak.
People coming home from an international trip have previously been told to self-isolate only if they have Covid-19 symptoms like a fever or a dry cough.
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has instructed that everyone, regardless of their health status, will now have to quarantine themselves for a fortnight.
The time period is higher for people on cruise ships, with those travellers now unable to dock in an Australian port for 30 days.
More than 300 people have contracted the virus in Australia so far and the government wants to ensure everything possible is being done to stop the virus from spreading.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a press conference: "This is very important, what we've seen in recent weeks is more countries having issues with the virus and that means the source of some of those transmissions are coming from more and more countries.
"We know that the virus cannot be absolutely stopped - no one can do that - but we can slow the spread.
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"And we anticipate that will be our task over the next six months."
The ruling came into effect at midnight this morning, meaning any Aussie coming through airports from today will have to take themselves home for two weeks, regardless of whether they've been to Covid-19 hotspots like Italy or China.
States and territories around Australia have also introduced massive penalties for people who try and flout this directive.
Mr Morrison added: "If your mate has been to Bali, and they come to work and sit next to you, they'll be committing an offence."
People in New South Wales will be fined up to $11,000 for not self-isolating, $13,000 in Queensland, $20,000 in Victoria, $25,000 in South Australia and a whopping $50,000 for Western Australia. The penalty for corporations flouting that law is much higher.
Those who are caught can also face up to a year behind bars in WA and six months in NSW.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said: "I urge the community to do the right thing and obey the decisions and advice of the National and NSW Chief Medical Officers."
Police have been given powers in New South Wales to enforce a quarantine and, according to 7News, have already been called to one person not following the guidelines.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: "I want to assure all our citizens that our Health Minister, through the Public Health Act, has the ability to enforce those provisions.
Featured Image Credit: PA