Australia says anyone entering the country must self-isolate

first_imgAustralia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said all people arriving from overseas will have to self isolate for 14 days, as his government stepped up efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.The order will come into force at midnight, Morrison said in a televised address Sunday. Australia will also ban cruise ships from foreign ports from docking in Australia for 30 days and will prohibit mass gatherings of 500 people or more, though schools will remain open.“We are going to have to get used to some changes in how we live our lives over the next six months or so,” Morrison told reporters after a meeting of the national Cabinet. “We know that the virus cannot be absolutely stopped,” he said. “But we can slow the spread” to protect the most vulnerable in society. The measures announced Sunday are another escalation of the response by the government, which has announced a A$17.6 billion ($10.9 billion) stimulus package to buttress the economy.Following advice from health professionals, Morrison also said “static, non-essential” gatherings should not go ahead if more than 500 people attend. These include places such as stadiums and theaters where people are in close proximity with each other for a sustained period of time, he said. On Friday, he stopped short of an outright ban on mass gatherings as it opted instead to “advise” against them.Nations around the world are trying to shield citizens from the deadly virus. France has shut cafes and restaurants, while Spain declared an emergency as cases rose to more than 145,000 worldwide and the death toll increased to more than 5,700.New Zealand on Saturday announced similar measures to Australia’s, requiring almost every individual who enters the country, including citizens and residents, to self-isolate for 14 days.In Australia, 249 people have been infected, from 197 on Saturday, health authorities said. Morrison said his Cabinet would now meet via teleconference as part of social distancing measures. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is in isolation after testing positive.Topics :last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *