Non-residents banned from entering Australia.
As of 9pm Friday, March 20, only Australian residents and citizens will be allowed to re-enter the country.
The announcement was made during a press conference on Thursday afternoon by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“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 9pm tomorrow evening,” he told media.
“The reason for this decision is about 80 per cent of the cases we have in Australia are either the result of someone who has contracted the virus overseas or someone who has had direct contact with someone who has returned from overseas.
“So the overwhelming proportion of cases in Australia have been imported.”
Returning Australians will still need to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those who breach this rule could be subjected to $50,000 fines to six months’ jail time.
Morrison also thanked airline Qantas who have agreed to continue their international flights.
“I want to thank Qantas also, you are offering to work with us to make sure they maintain flights from particular parts of the world that can assist Australians to return to Australia and we will be working closely with them, and those Australians who are overseas, we have been encouraging them to return to Australia,” he continued.
“Those in remote parts of the world, that can prove challenging but for those in other places, it is our intention to ensure we can maintain flights to enable them to come home as soon as possible.”
— Emily Moulton (@Em_Moulton) March 19, 2020