Travel Advisory Expanded When Visiting Australia
Exercise Increased Caution Travel Advisory now in effect when visiting Australia in 2020
The US Department of State issued today an ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ Travel Advisory when visiting Australia.
The State Department says this Travel Advisory was issued ‘due to natural disasters, bushfires, and some areas have increased health risk for visitors. Australian authorities may issue evacuation orders to certain areas as conditions warrant.
Published on January 8, 2020, this Advisory says ‘the current bushfire season is one of the worst in Australia’s recorded history. And, bushfires may continue through March or April 2020.
The State Department suggests ‘tourists should consider postponing their trip to affected areas until the danger of natural disaster has passed. Even in areas not directly affected by bushfires, smoke is causing poor air quality.
Smoke can affect people’s health and it is important for everyone to reduce exposure.
If you have questions, the State Department suggests checking the air quality for your region using the Air Quality Index (AQI). Check U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s AQI guidance for what the AQI means.
U.S. citizens visiting or living in Australia should monitor local television and radio stations, as media reporting may be the best source for breaking news on fire conditions.
If you decide to travel to Australia, the State Department suggests the following action items:
- Dial 000 (triple zero) for immediate assistance from the police, ambulance service, or fire brigade.
- Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
If needed, U.S, citizens can contact the Consulate General Sydney, MLC Centre, Level 10, 19-29 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia. Telephone +(61) (2) 9373-9200.
The following territory services are also available:
Australian Capital Territory
- ACT Emergency Services Agency: Provides emergency assistance following a disaster
New South Wales
- NSW State Emergency Service: Provides emergency assistance following a disaster
- NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services: Manages fire emergencies across the Northern Territory
- QLD State Emergency Service: Provides emergency assistance following a disaster
- SA State Emergency Service: Provides emergency assistance following a disaster
- State Emergency Service: Provides emergency assistance following a disaster
- Victoria State Emergency Service: Provides emergency assistance following a disaster
- WA Fire and Emergency Services Authority: Manages fire emergencies across Western Australia.
Recently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included Australia in the Global measles travel alert update on January 3, 2020.
The CDC says ‘Before you travel internationally, regardless of where you are going, make sure you are protected fully against measles. If you are not sure, see your healthcare provider at least one month before your scheduled departure.’
The CDC suggests the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and other travel-related vaccinations prior to visiting Australia in 2020.
Travel health and vaccine news published by Vax-Before-Travel