Australia tightens Italy travel restrictions, resists ban
The Australian federal government has tightened travel restrictions for passengers coming from Italy, but resisted a total ban, as the tense countdown to next week’s Formula 1 race in Melbourne continues.
As Australia’s response to the COVID-19 crises evolves, prime minister Scott Morrison today announced that South Korea has been added to the same travel ban list as China and Iran.
The bans, set to run until March 14 at the very earliest, won’t allow passengers to enter Australia within 14 days of leaving any of those three countries.
Morrison also confirmed that passengers arriving from Italy will face stricter entry requirements, including questioning at check-in and temperature checks on arrival.
However, Italy has once again escaped a full travel ban – which could prove crucial to next week’s Australian Grand Prix going ahead.
Should the travel advice for Italy not change before next week, the final hurdle for the AGP would be any potential restriction on public gatherings to limit the risk of transmission.
There have been no major events cancelled in Australia just yet, although Victorian minister for sports Martin Pakula did yesterday tell SEN radio that the Aussie Rules season starting behind closed doors “wasn’t out of the question”.
Motorsport.com has approached the Australian Grand Prix Corporation for its response to the latest government travel advice.
Supercars, which is set to stage its second points-paying round of the season at Albert Park should the event go ahead, says it will follow the “advice and direction” of the AGPC.
“Supercars is ready to race next week and it’s business as usual for us,” read a statement provided to Motorsport.com by the series.
“We are remaining flexible and operating within the guidelines set by Australian health authorities.
“As it’s not our event, Supercars will take the advice and direction from the AGP, but we’re ready to go and we’re looking forward to a great weekend of racing.”
Interstate teams are set to begin the trek to Melbourne this weekend, should the event not be called off before then.
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