Australian skiers and snowboarders returning from overseas holidays will now have to self isolate for 14 days after arrival, effective from midnight tonight.
The self imposed quarantine applies to all international arrivals as revealed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a press conference this afternoon to announce new coronavirus measures to slow down the spread.
“I just want to be clear about the travel restrictions I have just announced. All people coming to Australia will be required, I stress, to self-isolate for 14 days. This is very important” said the Prime Minister.
Those in self isolation are expected to remain home rather than attend school, university or work. Those who self isolate are generally required not to go near other people and practice social distancing of around six feet (almost two metres) and to wash hands thoroughly and frequently.
“If your mate has been to Bali and they come back and they turn up at work and they are sitting next to you, they will be committing an offence” said the Prime Minister.
“So I think it’s up to all of us that we are in ensuring it is in place. Australians will exercise commonsense. This provides the backstop of a legal enforcement. The idea that there would be significant resources dedicated to that task would not be practical.”
Scott Morrison said any penalties for failing to self isolate will be a matter for the states and territories.
The Prime Minister also advised, after today’s national Cabinet meeting, to increase social distancing measures for all Australians, including no shaking of hands.
The self isolation for returning travellers had previously only applied to those that had visited Italy, China, Iran and Korea and has been upgraded to mirror New Zealand’s recent stringent border control.
It now applies to anyone arriving in Australia from overseas, until further notice.