Australians Warned To Reconsider Travel To China During Coronavirus Outbreak
As coronavirus cases surge at home and overseas, the Australian government has updated its travel advice for China overnight, urging Australians to reconsider their need to travel.
The advice for travel to China had previously been to "exercise normal safety precautions" by government site 'Smarttraveller'.
On Wednesday, the advice suddenly changed to 'reconsider your need to travel' after it was announced China is now dealing with more than 4500 cases of the deadly infection.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne advised Australians not to travel to the epicentre of the deadly virus, the Hubei province, under any circumstances.
"Due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus we now advise you to ‘reconsider your need to travel’ to China overall and ‘do not travel’ to Hubei Province," Smarttraveller said.
"Chinese authorities have restricted travel for parts of the country and may extend these restrictions at short notice."
The advice comes after the United States had earlier warned citizens to avoid travelling to China unless it was necessary.
About 400 Australian citizens have registered to be evacuated from Wuhan, the city in central China where the deadly virus first infected humans.
Australian embassy officials have met with Chinese authorities in Beijing to discuss the diplomatic options available to help citizens stranded in Wuhan.
The coronavirus death toll has jumped past 106 and there are now more than 4500 confirmed cases of infection in mainland China.