Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that Chinese tourists will no longer be permitted entry into Australia as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to increase around the world.
The PM announced on Saturday that only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families, will now be allowed to fly into the country from China, as the death toll continues to rise.
Anyone who has left or passed through mainland China will now be denied entry as the Coalition attempt to stem the spread of the virus, with twelve cases of infection having been confirmed so far across Australia.
“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,” Morrison said, reports 7News.
Australian citizens who do arrive from China will be forced to self-isolate for a period of 14 days, while screening will also be ramped up at airports.
The prime minister added: “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.”
The Morrison government has also amended its travel advice to ‘Do Not Travel’ for those thinking of visiting the country, as the number of cases of infection in the country has risen to almost 12,000, while more than 250 people have died from the virus.
Other countries, including the United States, have also taken similar action, as the White House issued a statement on Friday confirming that it will impose a 14-day travel ban on all tourists arriving from China, excluding the regions of Hong Kong and Macau, no matter their nationality.
While US citizens who have travelled from mainland China will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine period on arrival.
Singapore has also imposed a ban on visitors from mainland China amid the ongoing global crisis, while the likes of Uzbekistan and Vietnam have cancelled flights from the country altogether.
If you’re concerned about the spread of coronavirus, read our article ‘How to protect yourself against coronavirus’.