The Biosecurity Emergency Determination relating to COVID-19 for Australia will not be renewed when it lapses on April 17, following medical advice.
The emergency period was a crucial early decision in Australia’s pandemic response. It has saved tens of thousands of lives as Australia avoided some of the worst outcomes from the early spread of the virus and now has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
As Australia moves towards living with COVID-19, the following emergency measures will also lapse:
International travellers into and out of Australia will still be required to provide proof of double vaccination against COVID-19. Travellers will also still be required to wear a mask while on international flights based on medical advice. These measures will be implemented under the non-emergency provisions in the Biosecurity Act. The requirements for maritime arrivals will also be aligned with those on airlines, as part of the safety protocols for the resumption of cruising.
The Morrison Government has taken strong action over the course of the pandemic to protect Australians. Shutting the international borders early was a tough but decisive action, which enabled Australia to manage the pandemic and minimise the loss of life.
The COVID-19 and Influenza Winter Plan will ensure the health system is prepared, and despite an increase in the past week of cases due to the Omicron variant, hospital admissions and ICU cases have not had the same increase.
Through the pandemic, the Biosecurity Act has been used for:
Original content from The Hon Greg Hunt MP media page. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.