Travel ban extended to South Korea
AUSTRALIA'S travel ban on people arriving from China and Iran has been extended to include those coming from South Korea as the coronavirus outbreak ramps up.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement this afternoon, adding there will also be tougher checks in place for people arriving from Italy, due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in emerging in the country.
"Today, we made a decision in relation to travel bands to continue the travel bands in relation to mainland China and in relation to Iran. We have also today decided that we will put in place a travel ban in relation to the Republic of Korea," Mr Morrison said.
"We will also put in place what our enhanced screening measures to deal with those travellers that have come from Italy."
People planning on travelling to Australia from Italy will be asked a series of questions and will be unable to board the plane if they fail the initial checks.
If any passengers fall ill during the flight bio security officers will meet the plane when it lands and manage them directly.
On arrival passengers will then undergo a health screening, temperature checks and questioning.
Mr Morrison said the decision to extend the travel ban to South Korea is due to the large number of visitors Australia has from the country.
"So that ban is put in place because it affords the best protection and enables us to slow down the rate of transmission which means that the health system and all the other plans put in place will be able to deal with the virus here in Australia," he said.
On Monday, Health Minister Greg Hunt said the travel advisory for Italy had been raised to a level two for the whole of the country, and a level three - which urges travellers to reconsider their plans entirely - for selected towns in the north of the country. Across South Korea and Italy, the total cases for coronavirus has reached 8000.
On Saturday, Australia announced they would ban foreign travellers arriving from Iran, the country with the highest death rate from coronavirus outside of China. The ban also extends to China, which Australians have also been told not to travel to since mid-February.
The ban means that any foreign nationals coming from Iran will be forced to spend a fortnight in a third country before being allowed into Australia. Australian citizens and permanent residents, however, will need to isolate themselves for a fortnight after returning from Iran.
"They (Iran) have the highest death rate … outside of Hubei (province in China)," Mr Hunt said at a media conference last week.
More to come.