Health Minister Gred Hunt has indicated that Australian borders are likely to remain closed to outbound travel until mid-March 2021.
Yesterday [8 December 2020], Hunt said the human biosecurity emergency period, which has been in place since 18 March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will almost certainly be extended until 17 March 2021.
Citing advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, Hunt said “the international COVID-19 situation continues to pose an unacceptable public health risk.”
“The extension of the emergency period for a further three months is an appropriate response to that risk.
“Existing restrictions of the current emergency declaration would remain in place “to minimise the risk of introducing and spreading COVID-19 in our community.”
- Limitations on the movement of cruise vessels
- Limitations on outbound international travel
- Restrictions on the operation of retail stores at international airports
Hunt said that the Australian Government is working closely with state and territory agencies and the cruise industry, to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruise ships in a manner that is proportionate to the public health risk.
The proposed extension will be considered and likely formalised by the Governor-General in the coming days.
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