Australia closes its borders to all non-citizens

Closing the borders should prevent the influx of more coronavirus sufferers.

Australia closes its borders

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that, as of 9pm Friday night, Australian borders will be closed to all non-citizens, in an unprecedented move to protect the nation from the deadly coronavirus.

After consultation with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Mr Morrison made the announcement late Thursday, justifying his decision based on advice that most new coronavirus cases in Australia were coming from travellers returning from overseas.

Closing the borders should prevent the influx of more coronavirus sufferers.

“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,” said Mr Morrison.

“We have already seen a significant reduction in the travel to Australia by non-citizens in residence.

“It is about one-third of what it would normally be at this time of the year.

“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, as is applied to all the other travel bans put in place previously,” Mr Morrison said.

Tasmania has effectively shut itself off from the rest of the country, now requiring anyone who arrives in the island state to undergo mandatory self-isolation for 14 days.

The decision came just prior to the biggest surge in COVID-19 Australia has seen so far. As of Friday morning, we now have 709 confirmed cases, with 307 in New South Wales, 150 in Victoria, 144 in Queensland, 42 in South Australia, 52 in Western Australia, 10 in Tasmania, three in the Australian Capital Territory and one in the Northern Territory. 

At least 259 of these cases were considered to be overseas acquired, says the Department of Health, with most coming from the UK, USA, Iran and Italy; and the likely place of exposure for 206 reported cases still under investigation and the source of infection for 28 cases currently unknown.

Australians returning home from overseas will still be allowed to enter the country.

“They will be subject to 14 days of isolation upon arrival back in Australia,” he said.

“These arrangements will enable, over the next 24 hours or so, for people to make other arrangements if they were intending to come to Australia.”

Qantas has offered to help Australians get home.

“We will be working closely with them, and those Australians who are overseas, we have been encouraging them to return to Australia,” said Mr Morrison.

Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong says the one million or more Australians still overseas will need more information about their rights and how they are to get home.

“The government needs a plan to help Australians stranded overseas amid flight cancellations, changing travel advice and closing borders,” she said.

The government will  on Friday discuss a second stimulus package and finalise further advice, including bans on indoor gatherings of more than 100 people in cinemas, theatres, hospitality venues and those organising weddings, funerals and events. Social distancing guidelines for public transport will also be discussed, as will additional support for vulnerable Australians.

Do you agree with the government’s closure? How are you coping with the coronavirus crisis?

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    COMMENTS

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    Alan
    20th Mar 2020
    10:27am
    Why Why Why did it take so long to close our borders? This should have been done at least 6 weeks ago. If this article is correct then about 1/3 of cases came in from overseas.
    Nerk
    20th Mar 2020
    11:30am
    It took 2 weeks for the who to change the name.
    inextratime
    20th Mar 2020
    1:30pm
    Hindsight - a wonderful thing. Use yours to become a millionaire.
    Horace Cope
    20th Mar 2020
    11:22am
    The government is being advised by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, and his panel of medical people. They are the ones best qualified to make medical decisions, not those without any qualifications who have something to say or the media which is spreading doom and gloom in a lot of cases.

    The coronavirus has been brought across our borders and it is mainly residents returning from overseas as residents cannot be stopped from returning home. I am happy to leave the decisions to the medical panel whose recommendations have been enacted by the government.
    Karen
    20th Mar 2020
    11:31am
    Encountered a case of a health professional spreading doom and gloom around here - even sending her mother prescriptions and telling her to hoard up those drugs, and citing the dire situation of the overflowing hospitals - something that has yet to occur.

    Not all health professionals actually know everything, you know... often they are idiots savant and severely limited in their overall knowledge, and a politically aligned and paid health professional is most likely to utter the official line.
    Sen.Cit.90
    20th Mar 2020
    11:35am
    Your comments are sensible Horace Cope. It is quite pointless for critics to comment on should-have's; we're not all gifted with foresight. The stupid B******d's stockpiling think they are gifted with foresight!!!
    Lookfar
    20th Mar 2020
    2:30pm
    Horace - I know you love the Govt, but have no idea why, - whatever, I came across a comment, you might feel challenging,
    "Even though I can see the logic of keeping schools open, especially seeing how well Singapore has done doing that, what I don’t understand is why we are not also following Singapore’s practice.

    From my understanding right from the beginning Singapore was temperature testing all Teachers and children as they arrived at school and any one showing a temperature or symptoms was turned away and I presume told to seek medical advice self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19. Unless some schools here are doing the temperature testing off their own initiative I have not heard of that happening here in Australia.

    From what I also understand in Singapore all workplaces temperature test those who come to work and turn those away who have a temperature and or show symptoms of a virus."

    So Horace, the chief medical officer believes Morrison when he hears the words 'following Singapore,' however we are not "following Singapore", but merely saying we are,!!, so the chief medical officer has been fooled (*) by a politician, and like all birds coming home to roost we find the politician lied yet again.
    Faugh on the chief medical officer for believing an easily checkable lie and Disaproval on you, Horace for passing on the lie, - also without checking, - as you should have, - Why didn't you?
    Do you believe that YLC is just a bunch of oldies you can manipulate? - and for who?
    Horace Cope
    20th Mar 2020
    3:06pm
    Lookfar, I think you have the sequence wrong. The medical panel is advising the government, not the other way round. Morrison said that we are "following Singapore" in the context that we are not closing schools. He didn't, at any stage, say that we were "following Singapore" to the letter. The medical panel is who made the recommendation to keep the schools open.
    Karen
    20th Mar 2020
    11:29am
    What's the point if citizens are permitted back in without full checks, and are only required to self-isolate? We've seen the level of social responsibility of the Australian citizen for weeks now with panic buying and hoarding - why would anyone realistically expect that returning citizens will self-isolate?
    Sen.Cit.90
    20th Mar 2020
    11:39am
    Food for thought in your comment Karen
    Brissiegirl
    20th Mar 2020
    2:09pm
    People returning home will likely do a quick run to the pharmacy, supermarket, bottle shop etc. etc. before settling in. India is date-stamping suspect carriers' hands with a 2-week lasting ink. Because it's easy to hide hands, I'd stamp foreheads but of course the luvvies would say can't do that, too harsh, oh dear, blah blah. I believe the worst case scenario will soon come. With 26 million Californian people being in domestic lockdown, and we've only just closed our borders, and people wandering into Sydney airport then wandering onto the trains etc., how can anyone expect that a country of people who have been asleep in pre-bush fire luxury will adhere to instructions? Australians and Americans (imo) have long felt entitled to a cushy way of life, the foundations set by our fighting men during WWII and the subsequent fruits of their hard work. We're soon to find out if their beneficiaries are made of anywhere near the same grit. As for calling this the China Virus, it's also the Kung Flu, the Wuhan Virus, and I love Donald Trump for determinedly saying it out loud. They have wrought upon the world a killer and I hope they are made to pay for it.
    Hairy
    20th Mar 2020
    11:46am
    What did it take for stupi scomo to get it in his head that people coming into the country were bringing the virus in .WTF. Is wrong with these elected f wits.The citizens of this country are way ahead of these complete morons. The borders should have been shut two werks ago maybe more.countrys like philipines are even more concerned fir their citizens than aus gov.but as i have said before maybe there is a plan to get rid of more old welfare recipients using the virus . To be honest nothing would surprise me from these educated f wits.
    Sceptic
    20th Mar 2020
    12:10pm
    And I expect that you were one of the people that screamed waste of money for the measures taken for the so-called, Y2K virus saying see, nothing happened. It never occurs to the naysayers that the reason nothing happened was because of the precautions taken. I imagine if we had closed our borders in January you would now be saying it wasn't needed as nothing happened.

    I wonder why people of your ilk are not employed to advise the Government as you are so brilliant. As you aren't, perhaps there is a message in that.
    inextratime
    20th Mar 2020
    1:34pm
    Agree absolutely Sceptic. All the geniuses will be coming out of their closets telling everyone else what should and should not have happened and using abbreviated profanities to make their point. Hindsight the most wonderful gift in the world and easy for those sitting in their arm chairs.
    Mariner
    20th Mar 2020
    2:48pm
    Hairy most probably has no family members who desperately wanted to come back in when the shit hit the fan - probably never been out of the country himself so what do you expect from flat earthers?? Wonder how his beloved ALP would handle the situation - possibly arrange a meeting about climate change.
    Anonymous
    20th Mar 2020
    4:19pm
    Last I heard Albanese was still talking about sports rorts
    Baby Huey
    20th Mar 2020
    11:50am
    The WHO and governments have named the virus the coronavirus. Why don't they call it for what it is as the US has done: The China Virus.
    What are they afraid of. There is no problem refering to the Spanish Flu or the Hong Kong Flu.
    Jem
    20th Mar 2020
    11:58am
    Good point!
    Julian
    20th Mar 2020
    12:02pm
    That's because in this country, you can't state a fact relating to Asian people /countries or the indigenous (if that's still the correct term) for fear of being branded a racist.
    Lookfar
    20th Mar 2020
    1:32pm
    Baby Huey, - because it is USA Propaganda, we don't need to get enwrapped in their sickness.
    Besides it may have come from the USA, - let's just not go there.
    inextratime
    20th Mar 2020
    1:38pm
    " May have come from the USA " ? Another facebook conspiracy theory ?
    AutumnOz
    20th Mar 2020
    1:57pm
    Probably because it is a new corona virus NOT an influenza virus that would have been named the China virus.
    By the way the Chinese say the virus came to China from the US.
    Mariner
    20th Mar 2020
    2:50pm
    Maybe it is the Yellow Peril we used to hear about at Menzies' time way back when.
    Horace Cope
    20th Mar 2020
    3:22pm
    Coronavirus is a generic term for any unknown virus with a spherical shape. It has been identified as a new strain and has now been given the name CODIV-19 to identify it as being different to known viruses.
    KSS
    20th Mar 2020
    4:27pm
    As Horace said coronavirus is the generic name for a particular type of virus that incidentally includes the common cold and various flu viruses. It was originally 'novel' because it had not been identified in humans before. Subsequently named COVID-19 (coronavirus infectious disease 2019) after the year of discovery. And of course the level of retribution from some quarters against all Chinese no matter where they were deterred scientists from using China in the name.
    JB
    20th Mar 2020
    12:11pm
    Unfortunately on this site if the cat had kittens someone would blame either Liberal or Labor . This virus is moving so quickly I am quite sure WHOEVER is in power are doing the best they can at this point . Things are changing on a hourly rate if the media are reporting correctly. Just calm down and follow the procedures as best we can .
    Koro
    20th Mar 2020
    12:15pm
    Pleased to see the Government acting very sternly and sincerely hope this stems the virus for the benefit of all our people.

    We can only hope the population settle down and stop the panic buying of all commodities to ensure all are able to continue to survive without the added stress of not being able to get essentials due to the selfish ones.
    JB
    20th Mar 2020
    12:27pm
    Exactly.
    Lookfar
    20th Mar 2020
    1:35pm
    Re keeping children at home. - it seems to me, that you have this bunch of mainly asymptopic children, ie virtually symptom free, all running around chaotically- in the playground or in a group in the school room, coughing on and etc. each other.

    It is only a matter of time one gets it, like nits, spreads to all, then they go home and infect, possibly kill their parents, (not deliberately nor knowingly) certainly make their parents to a lessor or greater degree unable to look after them, so others have to so do, then they get infected too, and not enough respiratory units at the hospital so a lot of the parents, etc. that would normally not die, - do die.

    Yes, if they stay home, they will be a bother, and may have to have one foot nailed to the floor, sorry junior, but at least the family will survive, and infection will be contained so the hospitals will have enough breathing units that they don’t have to Triage, ie sort who will live or die, as they are doing in Italy right now.

    People who have had children may recall that most of the diseases they had were brought home by the kids.

    I understand everybody loves children, but not enough to severely cripple our and civillisation leave a lot of children without their parents. Softly softly is deadly deadly, - why do you think the Chinese were welding closed the doors of apartment blocks? - - Entertainment?


    The Chinese learn’t the hard way, - do we have to also just because the Govt is pussy footing around? Reality is knocking, let him in, or his dark brother Death will be knocking, and you can’t stop him from coming in.

    Many people are unaware that in Italy the 20 to 70 age group were 32% of the deaths, the older than 70 were 36%.This all happened when fatalities jumped, - virtually in one week, - from one to two thousand a week, (yesterday another 350 dead).- - at the 2000 level, there were nowhere near the breathing facilities to nurse people through that stage, hence the jump in deaths.

    Time to get serious people, this is not a game, and the really tough time is only going to last a couple of months if we keep the lid on.Some argue that you have to be a hermit, but that is nonsense, meetings can happen out of doors as long as everyone has a mask on.

    I am working with a local Supermarket to set it up so only the staff are inside, the customers come to a screen on the outside where they can see and talk to the cashier, - they give their order, the cashier taps it in, sharing news and gossip etc, showing the price, the customer pays, gets a receipt, then goes to the pick up place, - their order is waiting, they enter the number on their receipt, or scan it, get their order and go home.

    Schools and Supermarkets, our major weak points, and the sooner we deal with them the less damaged we and our country will be.


    Bit of maths for the school minded, how covid-19 can spread, In Australia it is Exponential..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kas0tIxDvrg&feature=youtu.be
    Incognito
    21st Mar 2020
    1:12am
    Lookfar, 99% of the deaths in Italy are of people who had pre-existing health conditions, and half had more than one condition. 70% had high blood pressure and most were on medication of some sort. Italy has the second oldest population after Japan, Australia has 15% older population in comparison. If your immune system is healthy you will only get a mild case or none at all if you get it.
    floss
    20th Mar 2020
    2:08pm
    About thirty years too late.
    Mariner
    20th Mar 2020
    2:54pm
    Would not have happened when we had the White immigration policy? Came here 50 years ago, it was well alive then.
    Alexia
    20th Mar 2020
    3:11pm
    It says the goverment is considering a second stimulus package....where is the first one? Nobody has received anything like that yet.
    Are they trying to save time? ot their precious salaries?
    And the closures should have been done a month and a half ago! this government is as ineffiecient as they are unqualified for anything except making stupid comments in the public arena.
    Mariner
    20th Mar 2020
    3:17pm
    You should get it at the end of March starting and be the end of April everyone eligible you have it. Just have a bit of patience - it is not a pokie win.
    Horace Cope
    20th Mar 2020
    4:21pm
    The late delivery is all political. It is expected that this quarter will be negative and if there are two consecutive negative quarters it is officially declared that we are in recession. By issuing the stimulus after the end of the current quarter, the government is trying to promote spending in the June quarter and hold off a recession.
    KSS
    20th Mar 2020
    4:31pm
    FFS there is no late delivery. The $750 was promised for 31.3.2020.We haven't got there yet.
    Incognito
    21st Mar 2020
    1:14am
    Maybe if this had happened back in January when we first heard of the virus, it would have prevented all this madness and loss of jobs and economy,
    Blossom
    22nd Mar 2020
    2:13pm
    I currently have the worst case of hayfever which makes me cough a lot and bring up phlem. According to my GP and a Registered Nurse who works in the Emergency Dept. of a large hospital the virus cough is a very dry one. A cruise which was to have gone Adelaide - Kangaroo Island - Tasmania was heading to Tasmania but returned to Adelaide. The passengers were released to self isolation. The crew are restricted to the Ship only for 30-60 days.


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