Bringing Australians safely home
Relevant: Christmas Island
Topic: Novel Coronavirus Information for Travellers Arriving in Australia from China
Date: 30 January 2020
On the 29th of January 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australian Authorities were working in consultation with the Chinese Government to assist Australian Citizens that were abroad in mainland China and whom may be at risk of exposure to the Coronavirus.
The Australian Government’s first priority is the health and safety of all Australians, both in Australia and overseas.
Australia is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. There are currently hundreds of Australian citizens in this part of China.
To support those Australians located in Hubei Province who require assistance, the Australian Government has set a plan in motion to enable them to come home. To facilitate their safe return, the Australian Border Force will stand up a quarantine facility on Christmas Island, with support from other Government agencies.
The Government is focused on helping these Australians as quickly as possible and utilising existing facilities on Christmas Island will enable this to happen. As Christmas Island residents, your support is greatly appreciated.
All of those repatriated from China will undertake health screening before arriving on Christmas Island, and they will be completely separated from the Christmas Island community during their period of quarantine.
Once quarantined individuals have been medically cleared, the Australian Government will support their return to the Australian community.
Medical teams will be available on Christmas Island to provide medical support to those in quarantine if required, with no impact on health services to Christmas Island residents.
Engagement with the Christmas Island community is an important part of planning for these arrangements. The Australian Border Force is creating a dedicated liaison team to support communication between Christmas Island community members and Government agencies assisting this effort. Enquiries can be directed to ChristmasIslandEngagement@abf.gov.au
For more information about 2019-nCoV and the Australian Government’s response, visit the Australian Government Department of Health’s website www.health.gov.au
Mrs Natasha Griggs
Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands