NEWS

Australia extends total travel ban over coronavirus fears

Flights from Korea will be banned from touching down in Australia

The Australian government has extended its total travel ban to include South Korea in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Travellers have been advised to reconsider visiting the country, and in particular, the city of Daegu after it was deemed a hotspot for the virus.

Australian nationals returning from South Korea will have to self-isolate for two weeks, while foreign nationals will not be able to enter the country for 14 days.

It comes as the existing travel ban for Iran and China was extended for the forth time until March 14.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also announced extended screening protocols at airports for those arriving from Italy.

He said: ‘The reason we have taken this decision is because of the high level of visitation we are seeing from Korea, than we have seen come from Italy, and the ability to immediately put in place the enhanced screening measures for Italy.’

It is hoped that including South Korea in the travel ban will help to slow the spread of transmission.

So far, Australia has seen 50 recorded cases and two people have died as a result of the virus.

In New South Wales, 17 school children have been tested after their visit to an old people’s home where an elderly resident died.

Elsewhere, an 18-month-old baby has become the youngest victim diagnosed in Australia.

The government has urged residents to be vigilant for symptoms and employ thorough hand-washing with anti-bacterial soap to stop the spread.

Amid the hysteria, some Aussies have begun stockpiling goods, with many supermarket shelves stripped of toilet roll, dried pasta and tinned goods.

Related stories