The Federal Government has declared a global and indefinite travel ban in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this morning.

“The travel advice to every Australian is ‘Do not travel abroad,'” Morrison said at Parliament House.

“Do not go overseas. That is very clear, that instruction. For those who are thinking of going overseas in the school holidays, don’t.”

Morrison said it was the first time Australia has ever declared a worldwide Level 4 travel ban.

The ban does not apply to travel solely within Australia.

SmartTraveller states the ban was instituted for two reasons: the potentially higher risk of Australians contracting COVID-19 overseas, and the fact foreign nations may change their own travel allowances without notice.

The travel advisory organisation states “At level 4, your health and safety is at extreme risk… You should not travel to this location. If you are already in a ‘do not travel’ area, you should consider leaving.”

Today’s announcement comes after last night’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade declaration that any Australian overseas who wishes to return home should do so as soon as possible. 

Any returning Australians will be required to self-isolate for fourteen days to determine if they develop the symptoms of COVID-19.

Virgin Australia today grounded its entire international fleet and cut its scheduled domestic services in half.

Earlier, airlines Qantas and Jetstar announced they will offer flight credits to passengers holding tickets for domestic or international flights until May 31 this year.

If you have come into contact with someone who has the virus, you should self-isolate for 14 days. If symptoms develop you should call your doc, or the Australian Government’s National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.