Coronavirus: Australia, New Zealand Ban Entry to Foreign Citizens

Australia will no longer allow entry to non-Australian citizens or residents, unless they are direct family members of Australians, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday.

“Tonight we will be resolving to move to a position where a travel ban will be placed on all non-residents, non-Australian citizens coming to Australia, and that will be in place from 9 p.m. tomorrow evening,” said Morrison.

He added that he had consulted with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on this travel ban to “align” their measures. Ardern also announced a travel ban for foreign citizens entering New Zealand today.

“We believe it is essential now to take the further step to ensure that we now no longer will not be allowing anyone, unless they are a resident or citizen or direct family member in those cases, as is applied to all the travel bans previously,” Morrison said.

He added that people with travel plans to Australia should use these next 24 hours to make alternative arrangements.

Australians overseas can still return to the country, but they will be subject to a 14-day isolation upon arrival.

This comes as the country announced a rise in the number of coronavirus cases. Australia now reports that it has 111 newly-diagnosed cases, bringing the national tally to 565, the country’s Department of Health said today.

Of the total of 565, 259 cases are considered to be “overseas acquired” — imported from virus-hit countries like the US, Iran, Italy, and the UK.

Some 46 patients have recovered in Australia, and six have died.