following in the footsteps of the United States, barring foreign nationals who have recently been to China from entering the country in order to prevent the further spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.ustralia is
Citizens of Australia, as well as permanent residents and members of their immediate families, will be exempt from this ban, though they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days from their date of departure from China.
As in the case of the US, one of the groups most likely to be affected by this new restriction will be Chinese students studying abroad who returned to China to spend the Spring Festival holiday with their families.
Unlike in the US, where the ban goes into effect on Sunday afternoon, Australia’s ban is taking effect immediately with reports already circulating of Chinese students being turned away and told they’ll have to catch a flight back to China.
I've heard (unconfirmed) of Chinese international students landing in Australia since Australia announced an entry ban on travellers from China ~2 hours ago being told that they cannot enter the country and must get on a flight back to China.
— Nathan Ruser (@Nrg8000) February 1, 2020
Of course, the number of flights to China is set to drop sharply soon with Qantas, Australia’s flag carrier announcing that it will suspend flights from mainland China from February 9 until March 29.
So far, there have been 12 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Australia.
Australia becomes at least the sixth country to close its borders to travelers from China, joining North Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Singapore, and the United States. Dozens more countries have enacted lighter restrictions including specifically banning only those who have traveled to Hubei province.