Australians should reconsider all overseas travel due to the coronavirus, says the government

Andreas Rentz/Getty ImagesReconsider your travel.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on Australians to reconsider travelling overseas because of the coronavirus.
  • The government travel advisory website Smartraveller website says regardless of your age, health or destination, you should reconsider travelling overseas.
  • It comes amid Scott Morrison announced an effective ban on gatherings of more than 500 people.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked Aussies to reconsider non-essential travel amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

It comes after the World Health Organisation officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

At a press conference following a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australians should reconsider all overseas travel.

This was reflected on the Smartraveller website, which said regardless of your destination, age or health status, if your overseas travel is not essential, you should reconsider whether you need to go.

“This is a global advisory in light of the widespread nature of the COVID-19 outbreak and the significant measures in place to curb it,” Smart Traveller said. “Individual country advisories may not yet display a ‘reconsider’ advice level. You should nevertheless reconsider your need to travel to all destinations.”

There are two main reasons the government issued the advice, the first being that you can be more exposed to contracting it while overseas.

“You may come in contact with more people than usual, including during long-haul flights and in crowded airports,” the government body said. “Health care systems in some countries will come under strain and may not be as well-equipped as Australia’s. If you’re sick, you may not have your normal support networks.”

The second reason is because of overseas travel becoming more complex and unpredictable – with many countries issuing entry or movement restrictions that change quickly.

“You may be placed in quarantine or denied entry to some countries, and you may need to self-quarantine on return to Australia,” the website highlighted. “Think about what this might mean for your health, and your family, work or study responsibilities.”

The move comes after Australia issued travel bans for China, Iran, South Korea and Italy because of the high risk of coronavirus being transmitted.

It also comes amid Morrison’s effective ban on “non-essential gatherings” of 500 or more people.

For those who are overseas and either can’t or don’t want to go back to Australia, the advice is to listen to local authorities, and to get in touch with your airline, travel agent or insurance company about the options you have to cancel or postpone your bookings.

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