URGENT UPDATE: Australia issued its highest travel warning on Wednesday, advising citizens not to travel overseas to any country.
Australians in Bali and travelling overseas have been told to come home by the federal government as countries lock down their borders and airlines slash flights around the world.
The Department of Foreign Affairs escalated its travel advice on Tuesday evening.
“If you’re already overseas and wish to return to Australia, we recommend you do so as soon as possible by commercial means,” it said in a statement.
“You may not be able to return to Australia when you had planned to.”
The United States, France, Spain, India and Israel are among the dozens of countries with rapidly escalating border restrictions, stranding passengers and airlines as countries move into lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Globally, the number of infections is expected to breach 200,000 by Wednesday. The number of confirmed cases outside China has now eclipsed the country in which it was first detected in December. Australia is preparing to have 1000 confirmed cases by Sunday as the government considers putting limits on indoor gatherings and enforcing stricter social-distancing measures.
“As more countries close their borders or introduce travel restrictions, overseas travel is becoming more complex and difficult,” the department said.
“If you decide to return to Australia, do so as soon as possible. Commercial options may become less available.”
Qantas on Tuesday said it would cut its international flights by up to 90 per cent until June, following major reductions by American Airlines, Delta and United, and other carriers across Europe and Britain.
The department told Australians intending to stay overseas to follow the advice of local authorities.
Last night in a bid to stop the Coronavirus from spreading Indonesia including Bali suspended all tourist vias on arrivals and short stay visas.
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Source: Smart Traveller