The Australian government today announced a travel ban on all flights from West African countries, including Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Nigeria which has been certified Ebola-free by the World Health Organization was not included.
Making the announcement, the Australia’s Minister of Immigration, Scott Morrison said under the new travel ban, no new visas would be issued to intending travelers from these countries and that all temporary visas would be cancelled, this is all in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. He added that holders of permanent Australian visas based in these countries would be subject to a mandatory, three-week quarantine process prior to their departure. Visitors approved to travel to Australia will also face further screening and follow up checks upon arrival. He also announced the suspension of all its West African and Humanitarian programmes.
“While the government drags its feet in responding to the Ebola crisis, Scott Morrison has slammed the door on West African refugees,” the Australian Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“The immigration minister’s crusade against those in need has spread to West Africa and is simply unacceptable.
“This miserly, selfish and cruel announcement from the government is not a reflection of our nation’s character.”