Overseas travel ban extended until December 17

Overseas travel ban extended until December 17

The federal government has extended its ban on overseas travel and cruise ship arrivals for another three months, until at least December 17.

Health Minister Greg Hunt on Thursday said the human biosecurity emergency period under the Biosecurity Act 2015 had been extended until December 17.

The human biosecurity emergency declaration ensures the government has the powers to take any necessary measures to prevent and control COVID-19 and protect the health of all Australians

The ban on all overseas travel, unless granted an exemption, has been in place since March 18, was extended as medical advice suggests the "international and domestic COVID-19 situation continues to pose an unacceptable public health risk."

Restrictions on the entry of cruise ships into Australia will remain in place, as well as protections for the supply and sale of certain essential goods, restrictions on overseas travel and restrictions on retail stores at international airports.

The restrictions have also banned Australian citizens and permanent residents from leaving the country by air or sea from March 25 onwards unless they're a resident of another country, an offshore freight, boat, aircraft or essential worker or government official.

Those measures will all now stay in place until December 17 this year, Mr Hunt said in a statement today.

The only exception for cruise services are if the ship is in distress or the liner left Australia before March 15 this year destined for another domestic location.

The extension of the travel bans today comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison told parliament he will look to end border closures and guarantee a complete economic reopening so the nation will be "whole again by Christmas".

Mr Morrison declared "Australia was not meant to be closed" during Question Time today and pledged to continue to support Australians every day in the country's fight against COVID-19.

Australia's health authorities today confirmed 127 new COVID-19 cases were identified in the past 24 hours, bringing the national total above 26,000 since the pandemic began.