The first no-quarantine travel corridor flight between Australia and New Zealand is expected to land in Sydney on Friday, October 16. The preliminary flight will be on the Auckland-Syndey route and travelers will not be required to quarantine on arrival amid falling coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Australia. The arrangements are not yet reciprocal as New Zealand will require passengers to remain in managed quarantine for two weeks upon arrival into the country.
Authorities in Victoria state announced that the current state of emergency which was introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended until November 8. The state of disaster was also extended throughout the state until November 8. Under these emergency restrictions, authorities may restrict an individual's movement within Victoria or prevent them from entering the state and to detain a person for a time deemed necessary to eliminate the risk to public health. Authorities may also close premises under public health powers. The wearing of fitted facemasks, as opposed to a face shield, bandana, or scarf, will be mandatory in public spaces. Failure to comply will result in a fine.
State officials eased restrictions for regional Victoria from September 16 while maintaining tighter measures in metropolitan Melbourne. Regional Victoria entered step three of the government's four-step reopening roadmap. Under the third step, travel outside the home is permitted without limits on distance, although residents are not allowed to enter areas under higher restrictions, such as Melbourne. Residents can host up to five people from one other household at their home. Public gatherings of up to ten people are permitted, with 20 allowed at funerals. The hospital sector can resume operations with outdoor seating only and nonessential retail outlets can reopen. Hairdressers can reopen, but most other personal care services remain closed. Schools will also reopen with social-distancing measures in place.
Melbourne entered the second step of the reopening roadmap on September 27. The curfew in place in the area was lifted on September 28; however, residents may not travel more than 5km (3mi) from their home except for permitted work, accessing medical care and education, and to buy essential items. Residents may also socialize outdoors for up to two hours a day and may socialize in groups of up to five people from up to two households. Further details on Victoria's restrictions can be found on the state's website.
International flights have been diverted from Melbourne by the federal government at the request of the Victorian government since July 1. Interstate travel also remains banned until further notice.
As of October 16, Australian health authorities have confirmed 27,366 COVID-19 cases, with 904 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China).
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover the mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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