Australia

Scott Morrison 'bewildered and frustrated' 16,000 Australians defied coronavirus travel advice

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, April 2, 2020. Source: AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he's frustrated with the 16,000 Australians who decided to travel abroad despite strong advice not to, saying they were unlikely to "find themselves high on the list" to return to the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hit out at 16,000 Australians who decided to travel overseas in defiance of the highest level of government advice.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued "do not travel" advice for every country in the world because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

Mr Morrison said he was "bewildered and frustrated" by the wilful defiance people displayed.

"We can't afford that because if people behave like that, then we lose lives," he told 2GB radio on Friday.

"Honestly I think it was still an indication that people just weren't getting it."

The prime minister issued a warning for travellers ignoring advice.

"Those who go overseas over this period, how they actually think they're going to get back now is going to be very difficult," he said.

"I don't think they'll find themselves high on the list."

Mr Morrison said there were some exceptions among the 16,000 for people travelling for aid and scientific work.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch