Australian Border Closure to Persist Amid ‘Unacceptable Risk’

Australia’s international border will remain shut for at least another three months, as the government considers the Covid-19 situation overseas an “unacceptable public health risk.”

Acting on advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and Chief Medical Officer, the human biosecurity emergency period will be extended to June 17. The provisions include required pre-departure testing and masks on international flights, restrictions on cruise vessels and outbound travel for Australians.

The restrictions can be amended or repealed if no longer needed, according to a statement from Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Last month, a snap five-day lockdown in the second-biggest state, Victoria, helped contain an outbreak of the U.K. strain of the coronavirus. Australia has recorded 28,986 cases of coronavirus and 909 deaths to date.

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