Australian federal government has extended the country’s international travel ban by three months, preventing Australians from leaving the country until June 17, 2021.
Health Minister Greg Hunt cites Australians’ safety in his reasoning for the extension.
“The COVID-19 situation overseas continues to pose an unacceptable public health risk to Australia, including the emergence of more highly transmissible variants,” he says.
“The extension of the emergency period for a further three months is about mitigating that risk for everyone’s health and safety.”
The travel ban is part of the Biosecurity Act 2015, which was implemented in March 2020 with the onset of COVID-19. The newest announcement means most Australians will have spent more than 15 months without international travel.
Hunt’s announcement also extends the following preexisting emergency measures:
- pre-departure testing and mask wearing for international flights;
- restrictions on the entry of cruise vessels within Australian territory;
- restrictions on outbound international travel for Australians; and
- restrictions on trade of retail outlets at international airports.