Australia extends coronavirus entry ban from mainland China

Chinese students studying in global universities have been stuck since the ban on travel started following the coronavirus epidemic

Chinese students studying in global universities have been stuck since the ban on travel started following the coronavirus epidemic

However, all travelers among this group will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to Australia.

An increasing number of countries have introduced some form of travel restrictions on passengers who have visited mainland China, as cases have been confirmed in roughly two dozen countries and the death toll continues to rise.

The government's decision is a blow to Australian tourism operators, which have seen business from Chinese visitors dry up, as well as for tens of thousands of Chinese students hoping to return to Australia for the new academic year.

However, Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family are exempted from the ban which is imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus now officially known as Covid-19.

"That is of concern because there are still evidence of community transmission in other provinces and that is the reason we would like to maintain the travel ban at the moment".

In Australia there have been 15 people who have tested positive, with five of those on the Gold Coast.

It brings the total number of cleared cases in the state to six, with the remaining nine all in stable conditions.

Dr Murphy said those who had self-isolated had "behaved impeccably", greatly helping authorities' efforts to keep people safe.

The education sector is particularly concerned by the ban, which according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp has meant more than 100,000 Chinese students have been unable to start university classes in Australia this term.

Australia defended its decision to bar people from entering the country from mainland China until at least February 22 amid the COVID-19 outbreak, saying the measure was implemented in the country's best interest.

"We are looking at all options that are available to us to mitigate the impact where possible".

"While we should never, ever doubt, that the coronavirus is a very, very scary thing ... we should always remember that racism and discrimination also kills, it also causes harm and it also causes damage", she said.

Universities Australia chief Catriona Jackson said universities will quickly contact their Chinese students to ensure they understand how the extension of travel restrictions affect them and to provide support. Thee are also another 12 Australians infected with the virus on a quarantined cruise ship in Japan.

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