Latest Update from Tourism Australia
Latest Update from Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)
Latest advice from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Tourism Australia
Key Resources
Interview on 2GB, Afternoons, with Deborah Knight – Coronavirus outbreak impact
Guidelines for healthy travel on the Great Ocean Road during the novel coronavirus outbreak




The following information is only current at the time of this article. Please click on the links below for the latest updates from Government sources.

The Australian Government decision on Saturday to regarding travellers arriving from all of mainland China, is the latest development with the greatest potential impact to our industry.



The vast majority of confirmed cases of coronavirus are still in China 

Over 73,000 cases of the coronavirus (now referred to as ‘COVID-19’) have been confirmed globally. The majority of these (more than 72,000) are in China. Similarly, while there have been 1,875 deaths reported globally, only five of these have occurred outside China (in Taiwan, France, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines). Over 13,000 patients have recovered, including 8 of the 15 Australians confirmed to have the virus. 

WHO has published key considerations for the repatriation and quarantine of travellers in relation to COVID-19 

The document, published on 12 February includes measures to adopt pre-embarkation, on-board aircraft and upon arrival at the point of entry as well guidance for health care workers and other support staff. More information can be found here.   



Confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to rise in China

China is reported to have 17335 confirmed and over 12000 suspected cases of the coronavirus. Of these approximately 1300 have been classified as severe.


Bird flu outbreak in Hunan Province

China has reported an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Hunan Province and has culled 18,000 chickens.



Australia’s temporary coronavirus border restrictions to be reviewed this week  

As you will no doubt have seen, the Prime Minister announced last Thursday that temporary border restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus would be extended for another 7 days. The restrictions are due to be reviewed on 21 February 2020.   

The following arrangements remain in place: 

  • Australia will deny entry to anyone who has left or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days, with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents including spouses, minor dependants and legal guardians. 
  • Australian citizens who have left or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days must isolate themselves for 14 days from the date of leaving mainland China. 
  • People who have had close contact with a proven case of novel coronavirus must isolate themselves for 14 days from the date of last contact. 


Border restrictions extended to passengers on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship 

Australia’s current coronavirus border restrictions have been extended to passengers on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship which has been quarantined in Japan.   Australians on the ship have been offered a voluntary assisted departure flight today. Returning Australians who elect to take the flight will be required to undertake a further 14 day quarantine period at the Howard Springs facility in Darwin.  Any other travellers who disembark the Diamond Princess will need to adhere to a 14 day quarantine period prior to travelling to, or transiting Australia. 

The following advice is for travellers not on the charter flight: 

  • If you have disembarked the Diamond Princess you will need to complete a 14 day quarantine period before travelling to Australia.
  • If you arrive in Australia and you have not completed the 14 day quarantine requirement since disembarking the Diamond Princess you will be subject to health screening on entry.  
  • You may be subject to a Human Biosecurity Control Order under the Biosecurity Act 2015 which can include conditions restricting your movement or requiring your isolation.  Travellers should ensure they complete the 14 day quarantine period to protect the health and wellbeing of Australians, other passengers and airline crew.  

More information:  

Updated government fact sheets for hotel management and staff and hotel guests

See the latest health advice and details on what actions to take (and download and distribute) here 



Revising activities in light of evolving situation

Tourism Australia is continuing to regularly review its activities in light of the bushfires and coronavirus situation, with a focus on spreading the message to Australians and the world is that Australia is open for business and that the best way people can support tourism recovery is to visit. What we are reviewing at the moment is the timing of this activity.


Domestic campaign & approach

Our new domestic campaign, Holiday Here This Year, along with the bespoke business events iteration Event Here This Year,  continues to be rolled out across the country with initial industry, media and consumer response having been positive. We are also reviewing this year’s ATE program and will be letting delegates know of some important changes in the coming days, which are aimed at making our flagship trade event more affordable to tourism operators who we know are doing it tough at the moment.


International campaign & approach

We are currently working on the details of our revised international approach, which will include a campaign and a comprehensive international media hosting program, and we will share more information about the international campaign shortly. We are also mobilising our distribution networks to ensure that Australian experiences are still being offered in this key sales period.


Phillipa Harrison
Managing Director | Tourism Australia




Some further developments this afternoon, which will potentially have significant impacts on the tourism sector, and many others across the country. Our priority, after the safety of our staff, is ensuring we maintain our close ties and communication with our Chinese partners.

We will be in touch in coming days with more information as it comes to hand. Please let me or Bede Fennell know if you have any questions or suggestions.

PM Statement  – Key Points

Here is the statement from the Prime Minister just released.

  • Travel Advisory – do not travel to China

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to now increase travel advisory to level 4 – do not travel to all of mainland China.


  • All travellers arriving out of China to self-isolate for 14 days

As of today, all travellers arriving out of mainland China (not just Hubei province) be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.


  • Border Measures – to deny entry to Australia to people who have let or transited through China, with some exceptions

That to substantially reduce the volume of travellers coming from mainland China, AHHPC recommends additional border measures be implemented to deny entry to Australia to people who have left or transited through mainland China from 1 February, with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family and air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment. This applies to also to passengers transiting in Australia, unless they are Australian citizens, permanent residents or their immediate families.

Phillipa Harrison
Managing Director | Tourism Australia


Coronavirus FAQ

Information for travellers arriving in Australia from China

DHHS Key Messages