Almost 100 business leaders and VIPs allowed to enter despite Australia despite China travel ban

How the rich and powerful are allowed to sidestep Australia’s coronavirus travel ban - almost 100 business leaders have been allowed in despite visiting China

  • 99 foreigners who have visited recently China were allowed to enter Australia
  • Included business leaders, diplomats and other who had special reasons
  • This is despite government’s Chinese travel ban due to coronavirus outbreak 
  • ABF boss authorised those with compelling or compassionate circumstances

Almost 100 wealthy and powerful foreigners who have recently visited China have been authorised to bypass a strict coronavirus travel ban and sneak into Australia. 

The Australian Border Force Commissioner has given 99 foreign business leaders and diplomats the green light to enter Australia in the last four weeks as the number of confirmed cases across the country grows to 26.

It comes on the same day Australia reported its first death from the deadly virus after a male passenger, 78, who was on board the doomed Diamond Princess cruise ship while it was quarantined off Japan died in hospital in Perth on Sunday.

The federal government has confirmed Australian Border Force Commissioner used his discretion to permit entry to 99 foreigners on 28 occasions, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

A strict coronavirus travel ban for foreign visitors who have travelled to China remains in place. Pictured are visitors arriving in Brisbane before the ban was enforced

A strict coronavirus travel ban for foreign visitors who have travelled to China remains in place. Pictured are visitors arriving in Brisbane before the ban was enforced

They included diplomats who are residents in Australia and Chinese citizens receiving treatment in Australia or visiting sick family members.

It’s understood they all passed an initial health screening before being requested to to isolate themselves for 14 days.

A Department of Home Affairs spokesman told the publication the Commissioner authorised clearance to enter Australia for those with ‘compelling or compassionate circumstances’ and where health authorities supported the request.

An Australian Border Force spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia it was a matter for the Department of Home Affairs, which was contacted for further comment. 

It’s been four weeks since Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a ban on foreign travellers who have left or passed through mainland China from arriving on our shores.

The Australian Border Force Commissioner used his discretion to permit entry to 99 foreigners into Australia during the ban. Pictured are foreigner travellers before the ban was enforced

The Australian Border Force Commissioner used his discretion to permit entry to 99 foreigners into Australia during the ban. Pictured are foreigner travellers before the ban was enforced

The travel ban remains in place after it was extended for the third time this week, which now also includes foreigners coming to Australia from Iran.

The travel ban does not apply to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families as well as airline staff. 

Universities’ plans have been thrown into chaos with up to 100,000 international students are unable to return to Australia in time for the start of semester.

Some Australian universities have delayed the start of the semester this month due to the travel ban.

There are 26 confirmed cases in Australia, 11 of whom have recovered, after two new infections were confirmed in Victoria and NSW on Sunday.

The Chinese travel ban remains in place after it was extended for the third time this week

The Chinese travel ban remains in place after it was extended for the third time this week

Almost 100 foreigners who have recently visited China have been given clearance by  Australian Border Force officials to enter the country (stock image)

Almost 100 foreigners who have recently visited China have been given clearance by  Australian Border Force officials to enter the country (stock image)

AUSTRALIANS WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

NEW SOUTH WALES: 4  

January 25

  • Three men aged 43, 53, and 35 who had recently travelled to China are confirmed to have contracted the disease.
  • Two flew in from Wuhan while the other arrived in Sydney from Shenzhen, south China.
  • They were treated in isolation at Westmead Hospital

January 27 

  • A 21-year-old woman is identified as the fourth person to test positive for the illness in NSW.
  • The woman, a student at UNSW, flew into Sydney International Airport on flight MU749 on January 23 and presented to the emergency department 24 hours later after developing flu-like symptoms. 

VICTORIA: 6

January 25

  • A Chinese national aged in his 50s becomes the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Australia.
  • The man flew to Melbourne on China Southern flight CZ321 from Wuhan via Guangzhou on January 19.
  • He was quarantined at Monash Hospital in Clayton in Melbourne’s east.

January 29

  • A Victorian man in his 60s is diagnosed with the coronavirus.
  • He became unwell on January 23 - two days after returning from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. 
  •  The man was confirmed as positive on January 29 and was subsequently seen by doctors at the Monash Medical Centre.

January 30

  • A woman in her 40s is found to have coronavirus. 
  • She was visiting from China and mostly spent time with her family.
  • She is being treated at Royal Melbourne Hospital.          

February 1

  • A woman in her 20s in Melbourne is found to have the virus 

 February 22  

  • Two passengers taken off the Diamond Princess cruise ship test positive

QUEENSLAND: 8

January 29

  • Queensland confirms its first case after a 44-year-old Chinese national was diagnosed with the virus. He is being treated at Gold Coast University Hospital.

January 30

  • A 42-year-old Chinese woman who was travelling in the same Wuhan tour group as the 44-year-old man tests positive. She is in Gold Coast University Hospital in stable condition.  

February 4

  • An eight-year-old boy has been diagnosed coronavirus. He is also from the tour group where the other Queensland cases came from    

February 5  

  • The case was found in a 37-year-old man, who was a member of a group of nine Chinese tourists in quarantine on the Gold Coast

February 6

  • A 37-year-old woman has been diagnosed with coronavirus from the same travel group that flew to Queensland from Melbourne on January 27

February 21                                                                                                                                      

  • Two Queensland women, aged 54 and 55, tested positive for COVID-19 and will be flown to Brisbane for further treatment. 
  • A 57-year-old woman from Queensland also tests positive for the virus  

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 3

February 1

  • A Chinese couple in their 60s who arrived in Adelaide from Wuhan to visit relatives are confirmed to have coronavirus.
  • A 24-year-old woman from South Australia has been transferred to Royal Adelaide Hospital

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1

February 21

  • A 78-year-old man from Western Australia was transferred to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth

JAPAN: 15    

  • As of February 15, 47 Australians are among 219 confirmed cases of the coronavirus contracted on board Diamond Princess cruise ship at Yokohama.
  • Two more Australians who were on board tested positive after they were evacuated to Darwin on February 22  

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