Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that Chinese tourists will no longer be permitted to enter Australia due to increasing coronavirus threat.
He said that only Australian citizens will be allowed to fly into the country from China, amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The prime minister said on Saturday that Australia’s travel advice for China has increased to ‘Do Not Travel’ as the death toll from the virus continues to rise.
Foreign travellers who have left or passed through mainland China will now be denied entry to Australia in an effort to contain the spread of the disease.
All Australian citizens arriving from China will be required to self isolate for 14 days and there’ll be additional screening at airports.
Citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, legal guardians and spouses will be exempt from the strict measures, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced.
“In addition to that, there’ll be advanced screening and reception arrangements put into place at the major airports to facilitate identifying and providing this information and ensuring the appropriate precautions are being put in place,” Mr Morrison said in Sydney on Saturday.
“There’s a half a million masks that will be provided to those airports to support those who are coming off these flights as well as those who are with those coming from those flights.
“There’ll also be thermometers which are provided to those airports and we’re working with those airport authorities now to ensure we can put those arrangements in place.”
China travel advice
Australians are also being told not to travel to mainland China as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases grows.
Qantas will halt its two direct services to mainland China, saying entry restrictions imposed the United States, Singapore and other countries will impact crews working across the airline’s international network.
As of Saturday, all travellers arriving out of mainland China, not just Hubei province, are being asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they depart the country.
Suspending flights arriving from China was not part of the advice provided by health chiefs, Mr Morrison added.
Meanwhile, government officials are expecting the Chinese government to approve a plan to evacuate Australians using a Qantas plane ‘very soon’, Defence Minister Marise Payne said.
On Saturday, Chinese media confirmed that 259 people have died from the virus, with 11,791 confirmed cases of the outbreak.