Australians are banned from leaving the country for another THREE months as coronavirus infects thousands of people a day in popular tourist spots
- Controversial travel ban came in on March 18 and was initially for three months
- On May 15 it was extended for another three months until September 17
- Likely to be extended again later as virus rages unchecked overseas
- Exceptions will soon be made for NZ and other countries as they beat virus
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Australians will be banned from leaving the country until at least mid-September with the coronavirus travel ban quietly extended.
Citizens and permanent residents were controversially forbidden from travelling overseas on March 18 as the pandemic rapidly spread.
The three-month emergency powers were to expire next Wednesday but were on May 15 extended another three months to September 17.
However, exceptions will soon be made for New Zealand and other countries that have the virus under control in a bid to get at least some tourists returning.
Grounded planes at Sydney Airport as overseas travel is banned for Australians
The Health Department said the extension was to ‘ensure the Australian government continues to have an appropriate range of powers available to manage the ongoing pandemic response’.
‘The outgoing travel restriction on Australian citizens and permanent residents is currently in effect for the duration of the emergency period,’ it said.
‘Amending these restrictions, for example to enable travel to New Zealand, is a decision for both governments that will be made in due course, when the public health risk is assessed as being sufficiently safe.
‘The Australian and New Zealand governments continue to work together on this matter.’
The only positive for travellers in the ban being extended is that insurers will now have to pay up for flights booked in that three-month period.
Returning overseas travellers are ushered into the Intercontinental Hotel for the beginning of their 14-day imposed quarantine in Sydney
Many policies hang holidaymakers out to dry if their cancelled trip was booked after late January when the pandemic became a ‘known risk’.
But many refused to issue payouts on holidays booked before that cut-off but scheduled for after the ban ended on June 17.
They will now have to provide coverage to those bookings because their customers are not legally allowed to take the trips.
The government has refused to set a date for the blanket travel ban to end and has on several occasions implied it will last the rest of 2020.
Australia has nearly wiped out coronavirus but there are still thousands of new cases a day in many other countries with the tide only just starting to turn.