Health Alert – U.S. Mission Australia (March 28, 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).  

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.

(NEW) Starting no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 28, 2020, all travelers to Australia will be required to undertake their mandatory 14 day self-isolation at their port of entry.  Travelers will be transported directly to designated facilities as determined by the relevant state and territory government (for example, a hotel) after appropriate immigration, customs and enhanced health checks. Visit the website of Australian Home Affairs for additional information on these new measures.  See also the website of each state or territory’s government (Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania), and be prepared for restrictions in all Australian states and territories to change with little or no advance notice. 

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.

(NEW) The Australian government announced that the Australian Defense Force will be assisting state and territory governments to undertake quarantine compliance checks, to include visiting the homes and residences of those under mandatory self-isolation.

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 gatherings, the 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.

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.

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: 

Assistance:

  • U.S. Consulate General, Sydney, Australia

Level 10, MLC Center

19-29 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9373-9200

Email: SydneyACS@state.gov

Website: https://au.usembassy.gov/

  • U.S. Consulate General, Melbourne, Australia

553 St. Kilda Road
Melbourne, VIC 3004

Telephone: (03) 9526-5900

Email: MelbourneACS@state.gov

Website: https://au.usembassy.gov/

  • U.S. Consulate General, Perth, Australia

Level 4
16 St. Georges Terrace
Perth, WA  6000

Telephone: (08) 6144-5100

Email: PerthACS@state.gov

Website: https://au.usembassy.gov/

You have received this message because you have registered with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  If you would like to unsubscribe or change your details in STEP, please go to https://step.state.gov/step/.