Strict new rule for Aussie travellers
All travellers arriving in Australia from overseas, including returning Australians, will have to self-isolate for 14 days under tough new border rules announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The Federal Government also announced this afternoon all cruise ships from foreign ports would be banned from Australia as part of its strategy to manage the spread of coronavirus.
Mr Morrison said the self-isolation rule was mandatory, not voluntary, as of midnight tonight and applied to all people arriving in Australia by plane or ship.
He said it would help "flatten the curve" of the spread of the virus.
"This is very important," Mr Morrison said.
"What we have seen in recent weeks is more countries having issues with the virus and that means that the source of some of those transitions are coming from those countries.
"We are seeking to assist Australians coming home by ensuring that the flights continue to run, but when they come home, they will be spending another 14 days in self isolation."
The self-isolation rule is similar to measures announced for New Zealand by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday.
Mr Morrison said the cruise ship ban would apply for an initial 30 days and "will go forward on a rolling basis".
"In specific cases where we have Australians on cruise ships, there will be some bespoke arrangements that we put in place directly under the command of the Australian Border Force to ensure that the relevant protections are put in place," Mr Morrison said.
The rules were announced in a press conference from Mr Morrison this afternoon that followed a special national cabinet meeting about the government's response to coronavirus.
It follows an advisory from the Federal Government on Friday that Australians reconsider non-essential travel overseas in light of the coronavirus pandemic.