Information about Novel Coronavirus - Updated 14/02/2020

An outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late December 2019.

The Department of Health has issued a health alert with general information about the coronavirus

Advice for the Maritime Industry

Australia has put in place extra border measures, health screening and isolation recommendations for people and ships travelling to Australia from mainland China.

There are a number of information sheets providing advice about the coronavirus specific to the maritime industry:

Please be aware that state and territory health and maritime agencies and port authorities may also have additional requirements.

The resources on the above pages are updated regularly.


What we are doing for the maritime industry

We take the safety of our staff and seafarers working on ships in Australian ports very seriously.

Australia is well prepared to respond to this outbreak and we’re working with other government agencies to ensure that our response is consistent with the whole of government approach.

We have processes in place to alert authorities in the event AMSA staff become aware of a possible case of coronavirus through our operational interactions with ships visiting Australia.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) and Biosecurity officers remain responsible for border clearance processes in Australian ports. 

The Department of Agriculture Water and Environment is in contact with international vessels to ensure they understand the requirements and comply with pre-arrival reporting of ill travellers. Companies and masters are reminded of the legal obligation to report accurately.

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and Queensland’s Vessel Traffic Services have been monitoring all foreign trading ships arriving at Queensland ports.


How does Coronavirus spread?

COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person to person through:


How can I reduce my risk?

The following measures will help reduce the risk of spread:


What should I do if I have further questions?

For general health information concerning coronavirus, please visit the Department of Health's coronavirus information page. The Resources section includes many useful and informative guides and fact sheets.

Further resources and advice are published by the Australian Border Force.

All the resources on those pages are regularly being updated and new information added.

The State and Territory health and maritime agencies and port authorities may also have additional requirements.


Published 6 Februarey 2020
Last updated 14 February 2020 

For a list of previous updates please see