2020/02/21

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Australia extends coronavirus ban on travellers from China again

  


Australia's coronavirus-prompted ban for foreign travellers coming from China will be extended another week, until February 29.


The decision was made by the national security committee of cabinet on Thursday as the number of infections and deaths in Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus, continues to grow.


Foreign nationals - excluding permanent Australian residents - who have been in mainland China will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they left China.



Australian residents can enter the country but must isolate themselves for a fortnight. 


Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the extension on Thursday. 


'The protection and safety of Australians is our highest priority,' he tweeted.


'Today the National Security Committee of Cabinet decided, based on expert medical advice regarding the #coronavirus outbreak, it was necessary to continue the Chinese travel ban for a further week to 29 February.'



The Prime Minister said the extension came after discussions between the university and school sectors, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Education Minister Dan Tehan. 


He said there is now better data regarding the cases outside mainland China, allowing for better insight from experts.  


Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese backed the extended ban based on medical advice. 


'We should be following medical advice. Neither myself or Scott Morrison - certainly Peter Dutton - are qualified doctors,' Mr Albanese said.


'So we should be listening to that advice and following it. Our first priority has to be keeping people safe.' 


Fifteen people have been diagnosed with the illness in Australia.


Four flights - including one rerouted through New Zealand - have brought home Australians trapped in Wuhan following the outbreak.



Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk





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