AFTA UPDATE March 2020
Federal Government Announces International Travel Ban for
Today, Wednesday 18 March, the Federal Government has advised all Australians regardless of destination, age or health not to travel at this time.
The Government’s advice, “do not travel”, is now at the highest advice level (level 4 of 4). Both the Department of Foreign Affairs and Smartraveller websites confirm that the Level 4 advice applies to all international destinations, and also urges anyone currently overseas to return as soon as possible by commercial means.
“As more countries close their borders or introduce travel restrictions, overseas travel is becoming more complex and difficult. You may not be able to return to Australia when you had planned to. Consider whether you have access to health care and support systems if you get sick while overseas. If you decide to return to Australia, do so as soon as possible. Commercial options may become less available,” Smartraveller.gov.au
According to the Smartraveller Website, the advice has been issued on two principle reasons:
- There may be a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 overseas. You may come in contact with more people than usual, including during long-haul flights and in crowded airports. Health care systems in some countries may come under strain and may not be as well-equipped as Australia’s or have the capacity to support foreigners. You may not have your normal support networks overseas.
- Overseas travel has become more complex and unpredictable. Many countries are introducing entry or movement restrictions. These are changing often and quickly. Your travel plans may be disrupted. You may be placed in quarantine or denied entry to some countries, and you may need to self-quarantine on return to Australia. Think about what this might mean for your health, and your family, work or study responsibilities.
At a media conference held earlier to day Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, says “the focus for the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments is the health and wellbeing of Australians and their livelihoods, ensuring that Australia is positioned to emerge strong and resilient from this global pandemic crisis”. Read the full Media Statement here.
For urgent consular assistance consumers can contact:
- +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
- 1300 555 135 from within Australia
- +61 421 269 080 from SMS
For non-urgent inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit the Smartraveller website here.