Breaking news: Australia is closing its borders to all visitors from Friday.
The extraordinary measures are historical and never before been in place.
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison said overseas visitors would be banned from Australia, with only residents and citizens allowed back into Australia.
The new move begins at 9PM Friday March 20, Sydney time.
“We believe it is essential to take a further step to ensure we are now no longer allowing anyone, unless they are a citizen or resident or direct family member, [to enter Australia],” he said in an address on Thursday afternoon.
“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 a direct contact with someone who has returned from overseas,” he said.
The PM urged Australians around the world to find a way home as soon as possible.
“Those Australians who are overseas, we have been encouraging them to return to Australia,” he said.
“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.”
The New Zealand government have also implemented the same measures.
All people returning from overseas are told to quarantine for 14-days, no matter where they came from and how long they were away for.
Prime Minister announces closure of borders to non-Australians.
More coming soon.
Department of Foreign Affairs said Australian’s are in danger in every country in the world.
We now advise all Australians: do not travel overseas at this time. This is our highest advice level (level 4 of 4).
If you are already overseas and wish to return to Australia, we recommend you do so as soon as possible by commercial means.
Regardless of your destination, age or health, our advice is do not travel at this time.
Ryan is Contributing Editor