Australia to impose 14-day self-isolation on international travelers

Australia has imposed a 14-day period of self-isolation on all international passenger arrivals from midnight Sunday (March 15)

with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the restrictions were essential for flattening the curve of infections in the battle against coronavirus.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON, SAYING:

"This is very important. What we've seen in recent weeks, is more countries having issues with the virus and that means that the source of some of those transmissions are coming from more and more countries."

The restrictions echo those announced by New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday.

All incoming travellers to New Zealand, including its own citizens, must self-isolate for two weeks starting midnight Sunday - a move which was welcomed in the city of Auckland.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH TOURIST ALEX WARLOW, SAYING:

"Well I actually feel like I'm in the safest country I could be in the world."

Ardern's announcement came as three passengers on a cruise ship currently moored near Christchurch, were isolated after testing positive for the virus.

At least two of the three on board the the Golden Princess had previously been in close contact with a confirmed case.

All passengers are not being allowed off the ship until the results are known.