The threat of communicable diseases entering Australia remains a top priority for the government’s health officials.
The country’s Biosecurity Act of 2015 is set to take place in June of this year, so officials thought this would be a great time to discuss keeping Australia safe from communicable diseases.
“With borders as large, vast and busy as Australia’s, it’s important we are vigilant in protecting our population against the spread of pests and diseases that risk harming human health,” Sussan Ley, minister of health, said.
The holiday season is a busy time of year for travelers entering and exiting the country.
“This is never more evident than during the Christmas-New Year period, when over three million people will arrive in Australia by air and sea throughout December and January,” Ley said. “Over the past few years, the world has seen a rise in emerging diseases of serious health concern. This has been particularly highlighted by the recent outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola virus disease and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus.”
Current legislation requires aircraft providers to provide contact information for passengers, if the need to follow up about a communicable disease is required. Planes must also undergo disinfection measures that help to prevent pests from carrying communicable diseases.
“Australia has worked hard to prevent these diseases from emerging, establishing or spreading, and this legislation will ensure our level of preparedness is enhanced,” Ley said. “This is about putting in place sensible regulation striking the balance between ensuring Australia remains open for business without putting our longer-term health and prosperity at risk.”