Australia warning: Fire danger rises & coronavirus spreads – is Australia safe for travel?

Australia holidays have plenty to offer British travellers, especially at this time of year when they provide plenty of sunshine and high temperatures as the Southern Hemisphere enjoys summer. Over 700,000 British nationals visit Australia every year. However, the country is currently battling serious bushfires and a state of emergency has been declared for Canberra region.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued travel advice to Britons concerning Australia.

Australia fires

Temperatures in the Canberra region have climbed over 40C, and this, combined with strong winds, could see fires becoming “uncontrollable,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr told reporters.

The main blaze, in the territory’s south, is burning more than 18,500 hectares.


“The ACT is now facing the worst bushfire threat since the devastating fires of 2003,”  Barr said.

“There’s now no higher priority for the ACT government at this time than the bushfire threat.”

The FCO issued warning about the fires in Australia on its website.

“Australia continues to battle serious bushfires across multiple regions,” said the FCO.


As of this morning, nine cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Australia.

According to the Australian Government’s Department of Health, there are two cases in Queensland, three in Victoria, and four in New South Wales.

The department said: “Australian health authorities continue to test any people who show symptoms of the virus. To date, more than 200 people have been tested.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a public health emergency as cases threaten to spread more comprehensively, and health officials worldwide are on alert.

Australia’s Department of Health, added: “Australia is well prepared for the new [WHO] advice and is already implementing the WHO measures.

“The Australian Government is taking a highly precautionary approach based on the latest and best medical advice.”

They continued:  “Australia remains vigilant about this virus and how it is developing.

“We are very well prepared. We already have in place border, isolation, surveillance and case tracing mechanisms.

“Our health emergency response arrangements are flexible and scalable. They will be tailored to respond to the situation as we learn more about the virus and how it spreads.”


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