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Tighter quarantine precautions

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Australia has tightened its quarantine regulations to guard against

any possible future introduction of cholera*

'^he Minister for Health, Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson, announced

today new quarantine arrangements which will mean that a considerably larger

number of overseas travellers entering Australia will have to be vaccinated

against cholera, .

A'he new arrangements, which apply immediately, mean that the only

air travellers arriving in Australia who will not require a valid vaccination

certificate against cholera will be people who travel from North America via

the direct Pacific route to Australia, or direct to Australia from New Zealand

or any of the Pacific territories of -Australia and New Zealand. Even then

such passengers will have to show proof that they have not been to a cholera

proclaimed area for 6 days prior to embarking for Australia.

Sir Kenneth said a general regulation requiring cholera vaccination

certificates had been introduced because the growth of international air charter

flights had created a situation in which the pattern of travel routes was in a

state of constant change and the proclamation of certain countries on the basis

of regular airline flight routes was no longer considered a sufficient safeguard

for Australia,

Another important advantage of the general regulation was that if

cholera did occur in the North American and Pacific region, there was provision

for the immediate requirement for vaccination of passengers from that area

without the procedural delay associated with proclamation.

- Sir Kenneth said the new arrangements involved both the proclamation

of several new countries as areas from or through which cholera may be carried

and the general regulation requiring cholera vaccination certificates from all

travellers. However, exemption from this requirement would normally be granted

to passengers arriving by the North American-Pacific route, and who in the

previous week have not been in a cholera proclaimed area, because the North

American-Pacific area had been free of any cholera for many years. Sea

passengers would also normally be exempted except in cases where they had

embarked from a cholera proclaimed area within 6 days of arrival in Australia,

The newly proclaimed countries are South Africa, the United Kingdom,·,

and Northern Ireland, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the

Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium. This does not mean that Australia regards

them as cholera infected, but it has been found necessary to proclaim them

because travellers through these countries could have passed through cholera

infected areas on the way to Australia.

, 2 ο

In the past it has been considered safe for passengers who did not

heave the aircraft at ports of call in cholera infected countries, or who

visited only the airport terminal, to come on to Australia without a cholera


"The episode of the past two weeks has shov/n us that we cannot rely

completely on the precautions observed in some overseas countries", Sir

Kenneth said,

"It has been shown that even a passenger who does not leave an

aircraft at a cholera area is at risk of contracting the disease from food

or water brought aboard the aircraft. Australia maintains the strictest

quarantine procedures in the world .a'nd it is my intention that not the

slightest risk will be taken whieh might allow the introduction of exotic

disease into this country", he said.

Sir Kenneth said that Australians planning a trip abroad should

take note of the new requirements and should be protected by vaccination against

cholera before leaving for overseas, ,

' ·â– "

Any travellerover the age of 12 months who arrive^ in Australia

from anywhere but the exempted North American and Pacific area without a valid

certificate of vaccination against cholera will be required to be vaccinated

on arrival· or to undergo quarantine for up to five days.

Sir Kenneth said that although the threat to Australia of imported

diseases such as cholera was considered serious enough to impose such strict

requirements on travellers, it was not considered that mass vaccination of

the "Australian community for this disease was required. In any case it should

be appreciated that cholera vaccination was effective for only a six months


Canberra, 1? November, 1972 Dept. No. 110