Scott Morrison Announces Indefinite Ban On Australians Travelling Overseas Due To Coronavirus
The Australian government has banned all international travel from Australia in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has advised that Australia is now at a Level Four travel restriction.
At a press conference, Mr Morrison added: "We are upgrading the travel ban on Australians to level four for the entire world. That is the first time that has ever happened in Australia's history.
"The travel advice to every Australian is 'Do not travel abroad'. Do not go overseas. That is very clear, that instruction.
"For those who are thinking of going overseas in the school holidays, don't. Don't go overseas. The biggest risk we have had and the biggest incidents of cases we have had... has been from Australians returning from overseas.
"That is an indefinite ban but, as you are seeing from other countries around the world, they are putting similar restrictions on entry, just as Australia has on others coming into Australia and you would expect that to be in place now and that is the stage we have reached."
Australian will still be able to fly into the country but will have to self-isolate for two weeks regardless of their health status or destination. Other travellers will also be accepted, however as long as they haven't been in China, Iran or Italy for two weeks.
However, the advice for people who are overseas who want to return to Australia should do so as soon as possible.
The latest advice said: "You may not be able to return to Australia when you had planned to. Consider whether you have access to health care and support systems if you get sick while overseas.
"As more countries close their borders or introduce travel restrictions, overseas travel is becoming more complex and difficult.
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"If you decide to return to Australia, do so as soon as possible. Commercial options may become less available."
Mr Morrison explained during a lengthy press conference that all non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 people or more would be banned.
Non-essential doesn't include an airport, public transport and facilities, medical and health service facilities, aged care, courts or tribunals, food markets, supermarkets, office buildings, factories and mining sites, schools, child care facilities, and other places where people are transient like busy market streets.
However, things like weddings, movie theatres, restaurants, bars, religious gatherings, sporting matches and other places that you don't have to visit and includes more than 100 people will be banned.
Mr Morrison said a two to four week nationwide lockdown has not been advised by health officials.
"It does not achieve anything. We have to be in this for the long haul," he said.
People visiting aged care facilities will only be able to do so for a short time, with two people only at one time, in an area that adheres to social distancing.
"In cases of end of life: I know that people will want to see their elderly parents or relatives or others. I totally understand that," Mr Morrison said. "Aged care facilities will have the discretion to put in very strict arrangements to enable people to visit their loved ones if that is the situation that that resident finds themselves in."
Based on the advice from the Chief Medical officers across the country, schools have been advised to stay open during the pandemic.
Mr Morrison said Covid-19 affects young people differently and they have seen how Singapore has kept school facilities open and not seen an increase in coronavirus cases.
Mr Morrison ruled that outdoor public gatherings can still have a maximum capacity of 500.
Featured Image Credit: PA