Culture

Italy Was Just Added to Australia’s Coronavirus Travel Ban

Australia’s Federal Government today expanded its travel ban to include Italy. The country joins China, Iran and South Korea on the banned list.

The travel ban begins from 6pm AEDT tonight, Wednesday 11 March.

The new measure requires Australians returning from Italy to self-isolate at home for a fortnight, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Under the bans, foreign nationals who have been in Italy, mainland China, Iran and South Korea cannot enter Australia until 14 days after they left those countries.

“That ban will come into effect at 6pm this evening,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told press. “Italy itself has effectively put itself into lockdown with travel now, and this largely closes that loop. We already had the enhanced screening measures that are in place.”

The Government’s decision follows Italy’s country-wide shutdown. Its policy bans people from travelling within the country, while schools, universities and public gatherings are on hold. Italy has reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases, making its outbreak the largest outside mainland China.

As noted by ABC News, the current travel bans are in place until Saturday, March 14. However, the Government will reassess each ban to decide if it needs to be extended. Since its introduction in early February, Australia has extended its China travel ban four times.

This week, Qantas also announced changes to its scheduled flights in response to coronavirus. The airline has cut seats across its routes, grounding most of its A380s. Music and arts festivals are also feeling the effects, with the likes of SXSW, Coachella and Tasmania’s Dark Mofo called off.

(Lead Image: Trevi Fountain, Rome / Christopher Czermak on Unsplash