Australian Government advises against almost all overseas travel

Smartraveller is updating its advice for every country in the world to "reconsider your need to travel", or "do not travel".

By Chris Chamberlin, March 13 2020
Australian Government advises against almost all overseas travel

The Australian Government is now advising against all but essential international travel, regardless of overseas destination, as the coronavirus continues its spread across the globe.

Except for countries already zoned as "do not travel" – the highest warning level available, as continues to apply to China, Iran and more – all others will see a "reconsider your need to travel" warning put into place.

Speaking to media today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that “only essential travel should be considered if you are going overseas from this point forward, and we would encourage Australians to heed that advice."

“If your travel is not essential, consider carefully whether now is the right time,” Morrison added, while reminding that the advice applies “regardless of your destination, age or health.”

Australia’s Smartraveller website, operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), now provides an overview of this advice, labelling the situation as a “crisis”.

DFAT confirmed to Executive Traveller that “we're in the process of updating all the individual advice” levels for each country. “Every country will be either level 3 or level 4," meaning either reconsider your need to travel, or do not travel.

Smartraveller explains that the advice is being issued not only because you may be more exposed to the virus overseas, but also because international travel is becoming highly unpredictable with many countries imposing travel restrictions on visitors – which often commence or change at short notice – and due to the risk of being placed in quarantine.

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

In recent days a number of other countries have imposed new travel restrictions, with the United States banning all visitors who have been in the European Schengen Area within 14 days of their US-bound flight, and both India and Bhutan closing their borders to tourists.

Earlier today, Virgin Australia outlined reductions to both domestic and international flights in response to the coronavirus and generally weaker travel demand.

Read: Virgin Australia drops routes, winds back flights

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 50

More so than a blanket advisory would be some indication of what this virus is. Is it a cold, flu, something in that realm or worse. It's not possible for all businesses to sustain a massive dislocation to travel plans without damage. Happy to reduce travel whilst things are managed at government level but need to plan ahead also

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 133

And even if it doesn't kill you, it could take out your mum or dad or elderly neighbours.

Rxm
Rxm

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jan 2017

Total posts 41

Coronavirus is at least an order of magnitude worse than the flu. Someone under 50 has about a 1 in 500 chance of dying from it. In Italy their death toll is about 10% of the confirmed cases. Initially the Government sent false signals that this is like a bad flu. Its not. It is 10 to 100 times worse than a flu. Unfortunately this message doesn't seem to have got through to a lot of people. There is no business as usual and I figure a lot of businesses will revisit their disaster planning after this and reassess their business risks. Seriously though very little business travel is essential. Meetings can be conducted in different ways and documents transferred electronically.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 648

Nick there is no shortage of advice on what it is. A very highly contagious flu like virus that kills at a rate 10 times that of flu. I hope that helps with your planning.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 161

New Zealand has five confirmed cases, it is more dangerous to travel to some parts of Australia.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 122

yes so Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been here for many weeks - where were they infected? HERE in AU given the incubation timeline for COVID19!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 648

Cbourl is it many weeks or two weeks. It seems they had events in Sydney then drove up the coast.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 155

Sorry, but a quick check of their instagrams show that less than two weeks before they were diagnosed they were in LA.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 122

And no one says anything about multidrug resistant TB almost endemic and Hep B in SE Asia now the norm in AU

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 648

Cbourl I neither of those is transmitted as easily or in the same the way Carona V is hence the term pandemic.

NZ

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 49

New Zealand is highly under reporting COVID-19 cases, there is many reports of people be refused to be tested for it!

They will only test people who have close contact with the 5 confirmed cases. Effectively 100s of other cases could of walk into the country already, that aren't officially known of.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 155

New Zealand has announced 14 day self isolation for all arrivals - so it really only makes sense for citizens and residents to be returning home. You can't really holiday while under self isolation one would think.


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