News, October 27, 2014
Australia has temporarily closed the door to people seeking humanitarian entry from Ebola-affected west African countries.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s department is no longer processing any applications from the affected countries, which include Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
The government is also cancelling and refusing non-permanent or temporary visas held by people from Ebola-affected countries who haven’t yet departed for Australia.
Permanent visa holders from these countries who have yet to arrive in Australia are being required to submit to a 21-day quarantine period before departure.
Nineteen people from four west African families are currently in home isolation in Queensland after travelling to the state under a humanitarian program earlier this month.
One of them, an 18-year-old woman, came down with a fever, but tested negative to Ebola on Monday and will be retested on Wednesday.
New checks at airports have to date identified 830 people entering from west Africa who could have been in Ebola areas, but none has been to a hospital since their arrival.
“The government’s systems and processes are working to protect Australians,” Mr Morrison told parliament on Monday.