The Australian government has just announced its urging Australians to reconsider their need for travel as coronavirus continues to spread overseas.
In a press conference with leaders from states and territories, Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised Australians to reconsider all overseas travel for the foreseeable future.
"We now advise all Australians to reconsider your need to travel overseas at this time, regardless of your destination, age or health — if your travel is not essential, consider carefully whether now is the right time," Morrison said in a press conference on Friday 13 March.
While travel advice previously urged Australians to limit travel to areas experiencing major outbreaks like those in Europe and East Asia, it will now be updated to all countries.
"We are effectively putting in place what is called a level three travel advice for travel of Australians overseas. This is done to protect their health and to limit their exposure, given we have so many countries now that are affected by the coronavirus," Morrison said.
"Only essential travel should be considered if you are going overseas from this point forward, and we would encourage Australians to heed that advice, and if you need further information, then you can look to the Smart Traveller website where you will find further information on those issues."
DFAT's Smartraveller site has been updated with the advice explaining that overseas travel may expose Australians to more people than usual.
"You may be more exposed to contracting COVID-19 overseas. You may come in contact with more people than usual, including during long-haul flights and in crowded airports," the site reads.
"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."
Australia has just announced it plans to ban mass gatherings of 500 people or more from Monday 16 March in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country. It comes after the nation's top health official advised the Prime Minister mass gatherings should be cancelled or postponed until the situation improves. It's a massive step to curb the rate of infection so here's what this means.