As reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 11 March 2020, there are currently 117,000 confirmed cases globally with 4,200 deaths.
In Australia there have been a total of 112 confirmed cases including 3 deaths (as reported by the Australian Department of Health).
Countries at Higher Risk
The Australian Government considers these countries to be at higher risk for COVID-19:
- Mainland China
- Republic of Korea
With the majority of reported cases still coming from mainland China, Australia are enforcing a 14 day self-quarantine for anyone who has gone through mainland China.
The majority of deaths outside mainland China have been in Italy and Iran. The majority of new cases are reported from Republic of Korea, Italy and Iran.
As a result Australia is enforcing travel restrictions for travellers from mainland China, Iran and Republic of Korea. If you are returning from mainland China or Iran you should isolate yourself for 14 days after leaving mainland China or Iran. If you are travelling from the Republic of Korea, on or after 5 March, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the time you left the Republic of Korea.
If you are arriving in Australia form Italy, you must present for health screening at the border as directed. Unless you are instructed to, you do not need to isolate at home. If you are a healthcare worker or as a residential aged care worked you cannot attend work for 14 days after leaving Italy.
Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents)
Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents) who are in mainland China will not be allowed to enter Australian until after 14 days after they have left or transited through mainland China.
Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents) who left Iran on or after 1 March, will not be allowed to enter Australia until 14 days after they have left or transited through Iran.
Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents of Australia) who are in the Republic of Korea on or after 5 March 2020 will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited through the Republic of Korea.
Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family (including spouses, dependants and legal guardians) will still be able to enter Australia but will be required to isolate themselves for 14 days after the date they left China, Iran or the Republic of Korea.
Countries at Moderate Risk
The Australian Government considers the following countries to be at moderate risk for COVID-19:
- Hong Kong
Anyone leaving these countries is advised to monitor their health for 14 days after leaving that country and to seek medical advice urgently and isolate yourself if you develop a fever or cough.
Impact on Visas
Since the introduction of the temporary travel restrictions, the Department has cancelled a small number of temporary visas for persons who have attempted to travel to Australia. These persons have been notified in writing by the Department of their visa cancellation and provided with advice on how to seek revocation of the cancellation decision. Please contact your Migration Agent directly if you are wanting to seek revocation of the cancellation decision.
Visa processing times are not only being affected by delays within the Australian Government due to the impact of COVID-19 but also by delays from countries.
The delays in processing times are occurring for applicants who are currently residing in, have resided in, and/or require a police clearance from countries which have been most affect by COVID-19.
These countries include:
- South Korea
- Hong Kong