Australians flown out of Wuhan virus zone

  • Australians flown out of Wuhan virus zone

Australians flown out of Wuhan virus zone

More than 200 Australians fly home on a Qantas flight that has left the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sunshine Coast University Hospital anaesthetist and director of trauma Dr Dan Holmes will head up the specialist Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) on Christmas Island.

They were briefed in Darwin before flying to Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean, about 1400km north-west of the Australian mainland.

"So Australians can go about their daily lives with confidence", Morrison told reporters.

A Qantas 747 left Sydney Airport bound for Wuhan this afternoon.

Those on board were among the 243 who had earlier been evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus, via a Qantas flight that arrived at the Learmonth base about 4pm local time on Monday.

There will be a limited food and beverage service to minimise interaction between crew and passengers and the 747 plane will be thoroughly cleaned afterwards.

Qantas said it was liaising with the Australian government on the impact of these changes to citizens.

Home Secretary Peter Dutton said the government's safeguards are effective.

Qantas and Air NZ follow Air France, British Airways and many more in halting flights to China. "Of course, this is a significant and serious impact", he said.

Singapore from Sunday will stop allowing entry or transit to any people who have visited mainland China in the past fortnight.

Australia is also in talks with Pacific nations to help evacuate their citizens, but Payne said any foreign nationals that traveled on an Australian charter flight would also need to be quarantined on Christmas Island. "It's not appropriate for them to remain on Christmas Island if you're quarantining people near them for the goal of keeping them away from everyone else", she said.

The requirement of people arriving in Australia from Hubei province to "self-isolate" for 14 days was expanded from Saturday to include anyone travelling from mainland China.

New Zealand is also likely to implement similar rules.

Anyone who has left or passed through mainland China will now be denied entry as the Coalition attempt to stem the spread of the virus, with twelve cases of infection having been confirmed so far across Australia.

"We can be proud of the work this man does", Mr Miles said.

On the weekend, Mr Morrison announced that travellers who had visited mainland China from Saturday, February 1, would be stopped from entering Australia unless they were citizens, permanent residents or their immediate family. They recommended DFAT advise Australians not to travel to China.