Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a ban on all overseas travel for Australians due to the spread of coronavirus, except for those in extraordinary circumstances.
The Prime Minister made this announcement made the announcement on Tuesday evening, stating that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) would would be upgrading it’s current ‘do not travel’ status to a travel ban for almost all Australians.
The only exceptions to this strict new ruling will be aid work, essential travel for employment and compassionate travel.
The government is able to do this through biosecurity powers that are handed down from the Governor General.
Morrison said the reason for this additional rule is due to Australians still seeking to go overseas on holiday.
“The number leaving Australia now is very very low, but still it strikes me on those numbers that there are people defying [DFAT advice] and still looking to go overseas on leisure travel. They can’t do it, because when they come home that’s when they put Australians at risk” said Morrison during the press conference.
Gizmodo Australia has reached out to the Prime Minister’s office for clarification around whether there are any rule changes around Australians coming back into the country. At the present time there is a 14-day period of mandatory self-isolation in place. There is also a ban on almost all non-Australians from entering the country at the present time.
The Prime Minister also announced the government will be making it offence for people to buy goods in bulk in Australia in attempt to profiteer overseas.
Further restrictions on indoor gatherings will also be introduced, including food courts and some markets. Shopping centres themselves will continue to operate so long as the 1 person per square metre rule is followed.
Traditional weddings have also been banned across the country. While ceremonies are still permitted they are limited to the couple, two witnesses and the celebrant. Funerals will still be allowed by are restricted to ten people.
More to come…