As you will be aware the Coronavirus situation is moving quickly and the Australian Government is making decisions at pace and we are doing our best to ensure that travel relevant information is being dispersed to you. No doubt you will have seen media reports of the change to the DFAT Travel Advisory to China – it is now at the highest level – Level 4 – Do Not Travel.
View the DFAT Travel advice for China >
The Prime Minister has made an official address following the National Security Committee of Cabinet meeting to advise the key points below:
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to now increase travel advisory to level 4 – do not travel to all of mainland China.
The decision to travel or not to travel remains with the individual. People may continue to travel to China if they wish and a flight can be secured.
The travel advisory from the government is just an advisory, not a mandated legal statement.
It is important to check with insurance providers as to cover and if it remains available/applicable and what if any conditions may apply, should a client wish to travel.
As of today, all travellers arriving out of mainland China (not just Hubei province) have been asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.
This is again a recommended practice, clearly to safe guard the Australian population.
These measures aim to substantially reduce the volume of travellers coming from mainland China. The AHHPC recommends additional border measures be implemented to deny entry to Australia to people who have left or transited through mainland China from 1 February, with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family and air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment. This also applies to passengers transiting in Australia, unless they are Australian citizens or permanent residents.
Read full release from The Prime Minister >
Additionally, while these travel restrictions are in place, Australian Border Force (ABF) has today confirmed that all Australian SmartGates will incorporate a question on travel to Mainland China to incoming travellers, to identify passengers that will require additional screening by ABF staff. This is due to be implemented within the next 24 hours.
Airline Services to and from Australia
Many airlines both Australian based and those based overseas have made announcements about their services to and from China and also in and out of Australia. It is important that contact is made with the airline directly to determine what the latest situation or policy is for that individual airline. If you have clients travelling to or from China, it is best to check with the airline to determine the status of the flights.
We are aware that some airlines have provided trade updates on the status of the airline, again it is best to check with the airline your client is booked on to check for any changes, cancellations or alterations.
We understand that this situation will be causing an increased level of activity within your agency as you work to assist clients and distil the wide ranging media reports and information.
If you have specific concerns or questions, by all means contact the team at AFTA and we will do our best to assist.