The United States plans to limit immigration from this week as the coronavirus continues to spread through the country, which now has the world's largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with more than 720,000 infections and 41,000 deaths.
Under an executive order to be signed by US President Donald Trump, those seeking permanent residency would be barred from entering the country for 60 days.
While initial reports of Washington's ban suggested this would also limit inbound visitors such as business travellers and tourists, the President has since confirmed that its scope is not being extended to these travellers.
However, current travel restrictions continue to remain in place, barring all those who have recently spent time in countries such as China, the United Kingdom and destinations across the European Schengen Area from entering the United States.
“I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States,” the President tweeted Monday, without providing further information concerning the suspension at the time.
International flights to the United States have significantly decreased over the past month as the coronavirus crisis sees travel demand plummet, both as would-be travellers stay home, and with many countries enacting their own border control measures limiting both outbound and inbound travel.
Australians are currently prevented from travelling overseas unless their circumstances qualify for an exemption, resulting in very few available flights between Australia and the USA.
Those remaining include United Airlines' daily flight between Sydney and San Francisco, and weekly repatriation flights between Australia and Los Angeles operated by Qantas and Virgin Australia.
That stands in stark relief to the usual raft of non-stop services between seven competing Australian and US airlines which normally carve their way across the Pacific Ocean, ferrying thousands of business travellers and holiday-makers every day.