Australia Extends Travel Ban to South Korea Over Coronavirus

March 5, 2020 Updated: March 5, 2020

Australia will ban travellers from South Korea and introduce “enhanced screening” for travellers from Italy to deal with the coronavirus spread.

It follows similar action relating to China and Iran.

“We’ve got ahead of it early and we intend to stay ahead of this,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Korean visitors will be banned from 9 p.m. on Thursday.

south korea
Passengers wearing face masks walk through a railway station in Seoul on March 4, 2020. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images)

Australian citizens and permanent residents returning from Korea will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days when they return home.

Travellers from Italy will be asked mandatory questions at check-in.

Anyone who fails the checks will be denied approval to board an aircraft.

On arrival, passengers won’t be able to use electronic gates but rather will be dealt with by government officials who will ask further questions and undertake health screening measures.

In Australia two people have died out of 53 cases of the virus known as COVID-19.

Transmission electron micrograph of the virus particles that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in February 2020. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (NIAID/CC BY 2.0)

By Paul Osborne