All Foreigners Will Be Banned From Entering Australia From 9pm Tomorrow Night
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a ban on all foreigners entering the country from tomorrow night.
The move will specifically apply to 'all non-residents, non-Australian citizens' and will come into effect at 9pm on Friday, March 20.
Mr Morrison said the decision was due to the high number of Covid-19 cases of people coming into Australia from overseas.
The PM said: "Tonight, we will be resolving to move to a position where a travel ban will be placed on all nonresidents, non- Australian citizens coming to Australia, and that will be in place from 9:00pm tomorrow evening.
"About 80 per cent of the cases we have in Australia [are] either...someone who has contracted the virus overseas or someone who has had direct contact with someone who has returned from overseas.
"So, the overwhelming proportion of cases in Australia have been imported. Measures we have put in place have obviously put an impact on that and this is a further measure now that that can be further enhanced."
Australians who come home will still have to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution.
But the Prime Minister has left the door open to people who have a direct family connection to an Australian citizen to come from abroad.
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He added: "We believe it is essential to take a further step to ensure we are now no longer allowing anyone, unless they are a citizen or resident or direct family member in those cases, as is applied, to all the other travel bands put in place previously."
There will be a special exemption for New Zealanders.
Mr Morrison added: "The New Zealand arrangement, in the same way as it has in the past, doesn't apply to Australians living in New Zealand as New Zealand residents.
"Equally for New Zealanders living in Australia as Australian residents, these are the same rules that apply in both countries. We have worked today to align what we're doing and I appreciate that openness."
New Zealand has announced it will also introduce a ban on non-citizens and non-residents from entering the country from midnight tonight.
Mr Morrison has thanked airlines for their diligent work at bringing people back to Australia at such short notice.
"Those Australians who are overseas, we have been encouraging them to return to Australia," he said.
"Those in remote parts of the world, that can prove challenging but for those in other places, it is our intention to ensure we can maintain flights to enable them to come home as soon as possible."
Featured Image Credit: PA