Australia Introduces South Korea Travel Ban, Increases Italy Restrictions To Combat Coronavirus

The Australian government will ban travellers from South Korea and introduce "enhanced" screening measures on those from Italy to manage the spread of coronavirus. 

Scott Morrison announced the extended COVID-19 travel ban including the Republic of Korea, along with enhanced screening measures on travellers from Italy, on Thursday.

He said the volume of travellers coming from Korea is about five times that of Italy, which are both high-risk countries.

Travel bans will continue in relation to mainland China and Iran.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison gives an update on the coronavirus at a press conference at Parliament House. Image: AAP

"Today, we made a decision in relation to travel bans to continue the travel bans in relation to mainland China and in relation to Iran. We have also today decided that we will put in place a travel ban in relation to the Republic of Korea," Morrison said on Thursday.

"We will also put in place what are enhanced screening measures to deal with those travellers that have come from Italy."

Korean visitors will be banned from 9pm on Thursday. Australian citizens and permanent residents returning from Korea will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days when they return home.

Travellers from Italy will be asked mandatory questions at check-in. Anyone who fails the checks will be denied approval to board an aircraft.

On arrival, passengers won't be able to use electronic gates but rather will be dealt with by government officials who will ask further questions and undertake health screening measures.



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It follows similar action relating to China and Iran to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.

"We've got ahead of it early and we intend to stay ahead of this," the PM said.

He urged all Australians to "get through" the virus outbreak together.

"Let's help each other, stay calm, go about business and continue to enjoy the most wonderful country in the world to live,"  he said.

"Under these circumstances, it does not change and we have always worked well together, we have always understood what our responsibilities are and we have always gone about business with common sense."



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A total of 53 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Australia. Worldwide, COVID-19 has spread to 80 countries, including South Korea, Italy and Iran, with over 95,000 cases.

Over 3,250 people have died, including two people in Australia.

With AAP.