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TODAY: Update from the Chief Medical Officer and Health Minister Greg Hunt re travel restrictions as a result of the Coronavirus

JOURNALIST: Minister, is the Government being advised of, or will the Government extend current travel bans?

GREG HUNT: So, look, that is an important question. The Prime Minister said that will be reviewed this week. But the Prime Minister, myself, the Chief Medical Officer, have indicated that the situation in China is ongoing and so we don't want to set a false expectation, but that is likely to change yet, at this point. JOURNALIST: With that ban, would it be another two weeks, do you do it week by week, do you say a month?

GREG HUNT: Look, we follow the medical advice.

BRENDAN MURPHY: I think we will- we’re going to have a very serious consideration of that at the end of this week. Authorised by Greg Hunt MP, Liberal Party of Australia, Somerville, Victoria. And I think the important thing is whatever period is put in place, we are reviewing this every day, and if the situation changes, we'll provide advice to Government on a daily basis as necessary, because everybody understands the huge implications of these travel bans, and if there's any reason or basis for relaxing them, that advice will come as soon as it's there.

The travel advisory that DFAT gives remains in place until it changes and we're not indicating that that is about to change.

And the Prime Minister has given guidance, the Chief Medical Officer has given guidance; I've given guidance.

And the existing DFAT advice is level four - which means do not travel to China at this stage and there are the other quarantine restrictions in place. And so, that remains the case and we're not indicating that it's about to change. We're considering all of the other options, but just to finish - to say that the quarantine arrangements are working. We can never guarantee that there won't be additional cases. That's why we have these arrangements, but today in particular, we are reaching out to and supporting Chinese-Australians and saying to people that the shopping centres, the restaurants, these circumstances are safe and we'd encourage you to go about your daily business.

Source: Murphy-and-Hunt-Presser-11-Feb-2020.pdf

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  • Guest
    OffshoreMig Wednesday, 12 February 2020

    I would like to invite my partner to accompany me to visit Australia for a couple of weeks when I visit ... But I am concerned abut the Coronavirus and the need to attend the VFS Global Bio-Metric Data collection centre,

    Bio Metric data is already recorded in her Thai ePassort and VFS Golbal collected this data in her previous visa application. I can see no reason why she has to travel to Bangkok (At considerable expense) to provide this data.

    This is a classic example where privatisation of government administrative process fails.

    There is no need for visa applicants to visit the data collection centres

    The Thai Government records this information in their passports and have done so since 2013. Information recorded in full compliance with international standards,

    Australia has an online visa application system and documents can and are submitted online.

    Any changes to to requirement to collect this data would of course result in a claim by the service provider VFS Global to seek compensation.

    The recent outbreak of the nCoronavirus adds further concern as these data collection centres are a serious risk for infection.

    Thousands of visa applicants attend these centres every day. (Not just Thai Citizens) It is not just Australia but many other States/Countries including NZ, UK Canada Finland. collect and require this outdated information.

    A perfectly healthy citizen attends one of these centres and could realistically contract the virus and then soon travel.

    These centres are just as much as a risk as an airport check-in or waiting lounge.

    Given that those attending are intending to travel the risk of spreading the virus is even greater

    We wrote to the MIA (Migration Institute of Australia) last year expressing concern about these centres and requested that they be reviewed, The MIA has done nothing.

    We have also written to the Australian Chief Medical Officer requesting that he investigate this practice and the risk involved in collecting this data which is not required for ePassport holders, (The Chief Medical Officer has yet to reply).

    It is incumbent of the Australian Government act to now to suspend or close the bio-metric data collection centres. if they do not act then the Thai authorities should.

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Guest Thursday, 09 July 2020
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