Australia & New Zealand Ban Non-Residents As Covid-19 Cases Are Mostly Travel-Related

As Covid-19 escalates into a global pandemic, countries are also implementing more extreme measures to contain the virus.

On Thursday (19 Mar), Australia and New Zealand announced a travel ban restricting all non-residents from entering the countries.

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They are hoping that such a move will reduce the import of Covid-19 cases, slowing the virus’ spread.

Australia and New Zealand ban non-residents to curb transborder Covid-19 infections

Australia’s “unprecedented” move is part of its efforts to curb transborder Covid-19 infections.

The country previously banned travellers from some hotspots, which had drastically cut tourist numbers by one-third, according to ABC News.

Australia’s Prime Minister (PM) Scott Morrison, however, believes that the travel ban is still necessary.

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Considering that 80% of the country’s cases involved citizens who returned from overseas and those who came into direct contact with the former group,¬†banning foreigners all together might be useful in preventing imports.

Similarly, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern also revealed that all 28 reported cases are travel-related.

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She said that this ban stems from the need to “further restrict the risk of people bringing the virus into New Zealand”, reports Stuff, a New Zealand news site.

Both countries encouraging citizens to return home

On the same day (19 Mar), Australian airline Qantas announced their move to suspend all international flights in light of Covid-19.

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Despite so, a handful of flights will continue running to ferry Australians back home.

PM Morrison urged Australians to “come home as soon as possible”.

Similarly, New Zealand PM Ardern also reassured citizens that flights are available should they want to return home.

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Travel ban to take effect on 20 Mar

With 565 infected patients and 6 Covid-19 deaths, Australia is looking to implement this policy ASAP.

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Despite only recording 28 cases, New Zealand is not intending to risks any more imported infections.

The indefinite travel ban will start tomorrow (20 Mar) at 9pm for both Australia and New Zealand.

We hope that the move will be effective in combatting the domestic Covid-19 situation in both countries.

Featured image adapted from New Scientist.