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Health Alert – U.S. Mission Australia (March 27, 2020)
March 27, 2020

Location: Australia

Event:  The Australian Department of Health has confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia.  Please see the Australian Department of Health’s website for statistics that are updated daily.

The U.S. Mission to Australia will be sending a daily update to ensure all U.S. citizens in Australia have the latest information about COVID-19 and local conditions.  Updated information will be prefaced with (NEW).

(NEW) On March 25, 2020, the government of Tasmania announced that only residents or essential travelers will be allowed entry; non-residents will be directed to their port of departure or directed to government provided accommodation for self-isolation and charged a fee. More information will be shared as the government announces details.  The government of Western Australia has also provided more information on self-isolation requirements involving transit and interstate travel.

The governments of nearly all states and territories of Australia have implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Visit the website of each state or territory’s government for additional information on these new measures, and be prepared for restrictions in all Australian states and territories to change with little or no advance notice. The states and territories of QueenslandWestern Australia, the Northern TerritorySouth Australia, and Tasmania require all non-essential arrivals from interstate or overseas to quarantine for 14 days.

Starting on March 25, 2020, the Australian government is restricting Australian citizens and permanent residents from traveling overseas, with some exceptions.  Dual U.S.-Australian citizens and U.S. citizen permanent residents of Australia are not exempt from this rule and may be prevented from boarding flights if they do not meet the exception guidelines.  Australia announced a travel ban on all non-residents and non-Australian citizens entering Australia that went into effect at 9:00 pm AEDT on Friday, March 20, 2020; this also applies to those transiting Australia.  Individuals may request exceptions to the entry and exit restrictions at this link.

On March 15, 2020, the Australian Government announced:

  • all travelers to Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, and
  • a ban on cruise liners from foreign ports arriving at Australian ports for 30 days.

Visit the website of Australian Home Affairs for additional information on these new measures.

The government of Australia has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.  In addition to rules for personal hygiene and limits on public gatheringsthe Australian government put in place restrictions on social gatherings and facilities from midday on March 23, 2020.  Additional activities and venues are prohibited from 11:59 pm on March 25, 2020. Visit the Australian government COVID-19 website for updated information.  The states of New South WalesVictoria, and the Australian Capital Territory require non-essential services to be suspended.

As of 11:59 pm on March 25, 2020, all non-urgent elective surgery will be temporarily suspended.

U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available, even via circuitous routes.  United Airlines is currently the only airline continuing regular direct service between Australia and the United States after March 30.  Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability.  If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Notice for Australia.

Actions to Take: