Australia bans foreign arrivals from China amid coronavirus fears

Australia will deny entry to any foreign travellers who have passed through China to try and contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new policy on Saturday, saying Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, legal guardians or spouses will be exceptions to the rule, reports The Guardian.

Australian citizens arriving from China will be quarantined for two weeks.

The decision to ban travellers from entering the country mimics that of the US.

US President Donald Trump announced on Friday any foreign nationals who have visited China in the past fourteen days will be banned from entering the country.

Australians are being warned not to travel to China amid the outbreak of the virus which has killed 259 people.

The country currently has nine people who are infected, reports CNN.

New Zealanders have also been told to avoid "non-essential" travel to China, and are advised not to travel at all to Wuhan or the Hubei province.

Anyone who has recently returned from China has been asked to self-isolate.

The virus has spread to more than 20 countries, but New Zealand has not yet had a confirmed case.

More than 11000 people in China have been infected with the virus which causes respiratory stress, pneumonia, and in severe cases organ failure leading to death.