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News: Australian Prime Minister announces enhanced border arrangements

16 March 2020

From 15 March 2020, the Australian Prime Minister announced enhanced restrictions in place from midnight for people entering from any overseas destination. These include:

  • Mandatory self isolation period of 14 days, regardless of the destination a person has come from;

  • Specific arrangements for people transmitting through to the Pacific Islands; 

  • 30 day ban on cruise ships who have visited foreigh ports before arriving in Australia.

A conference was also called to discuss the potential impact of these restrictions on the maritime industry.  In summary the main points were:

  • The biggest impact would be the cruise industry, with Australian Border Force (ABF) having the power to exclude international vessels from entry. An exemption would remain to facilitate the disembarkation of Australia citizens;

  • For commercial maritime vessels, the 14 day quarantine period would apply for vessels arriving from any international port (and not just the selected high risk countries previously identified);

  • ABF and Department of Health will produce updated maritime industry fact sheets;

  • ABF is investigating how best to facilitate crew transfers whilst vessels are at Australian ports, especially where crew are arriving from air. This may include confucting advanced screening measures at Sydney Airport before taking a domestic flight to join a vessel within 14 days.

The Prime Minister’s full press release can be accessed on the right.

As the position at ports continues to change daily, we recommend members contact their local agents to ensure they are up to date of any restrictions or requirements for arrival.