Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced all people arriving in Australia from overseas will have to spend a fortnight in self-isolation as of Monday, as the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 continues to rise across Australia and around the world.
“We will have a self-isolation requirement on all international arrivals to Australia effective from midnight tonight,” Morrison said during a press conference in Sydney on Sunday.
“All people coming to Australia will be required, will be required, I stress, to self isolate for 14 days.
“If your mate has been to Bali and they come back and they turn up at work in our city next to you, they will be committing an offence, so I think it is up to all of us to ensure that we are ensuring this is put in place stop Australians will exercise common sense.”
The PM also announced international cruise ships will also be banned from docking in Australia for an initial 30 days. Australians are also being advised to practice more “social distancing”, which would discourage handshakes.
The decision was made by the PM, along with senior government ministers and state premiers, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus and continue to contain it, after Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy advised ministers and state premiers to adopt the precautionary measures during Friday’s COAG gathering.
“Australia right now is in a position where we have low rates of this virus, but we have always known that the number of cases will rise,” Morrison said on Friday during a COAG meeting in Sydney. “In relation to that, based on advice we have received today, it has been recommended to us that we move to a position by Monday where we will be advising against organised non-essential gatherings of persons of 500 people or greater.”
Morrison went on to clarify that the measures do not include schools, universities, public transport or areas such as airports and said that people should see this as a common sense precaution. While the PM also acknowledged that there would be more issues to work through and confirm before the advice kicks in on Monday.