ON 15 March the Australian government announced people entering Australia from 0001 AEDST 16 March 2020 must do a precautionary self-isolation period for up to 14 days upon entry to Australia.
This applies to anyone entering Australia, inclusive of Australian citizens and permanent residents.
For those entering Australia for less than 14 days, they must self-isolate for their entire stay.
These measures apply to all people entering Australia including via aircraft and vessels.
The travel restrictions for mainland China, Iran, the Republic of Korea and Italy remain in Place for all travellers including maritime crew.
Vessels that report ill persons with “relevant symptoms” are to be inspected by a biosecurity officer on arrival in Australia.
Ports Australia CEO Mike Gallacher welcomed the self-isolation requirements.
“Ports Australia is maintaining constant dialogue with government and industry to ensure the necessary measures are in place to keep Australia’s people safe and its trade flowing,” he said.
“The recent announcements regarding self-isolation requirements are welcomed as they enhance the measures our ports have been adhering to in past months.
“We are fortunate to inform there have been no reported major disruptions to operations at the port gate and no port staff amongst our membership who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.”
Mr Gallacher said this was indicative of ports’ “proactiveness” in carrying out the travel restrictions and quarantine measures set by government health officials so their operations can continue safely and securely.
Mr Gallacher reflected on why we’re working so hard to protect our ports.
“Ports are the freight enablers – they are in the middle between the vessel and the Australian people and they control the logistics which dictate where and when that freight moves,” he said.
“That’s why – especially as we stare down the COVID-19 pandemic – it’s absolutely essential we keep our port staff safe, because without them we lose the livelihood of our people through goods coming in and the wealth of our nation through goods going out.
“I urge community groups around ports who have concerns relating to COVID-19 to raise them with their relevant authorities, but to rest assured knowing our ports are carrying out all necessary safety measures which have been set out by government authorities before any trade continues.”