The Australian Government has extended its coronavirus travel ban for another week amid fears a Covid-19 global pandemic will soon be declared.

The prime minister has also announced Australia is activating an emergency plan to deal with the outbreak of the coronavirus, amid expectations a global pandemic will soon be declared.

Scott Morrison said the virus had spread rapidly outside of China, which had prompted his government to elevate Australia’s response.

“We believe risk of global pandemic is very much upon us and as a result, as a government, we need to take the steps necessary to prepare for such a pandemic,” he said.

The ban means foreign nationals who have been in mainland China are not allowed into Australia for 14 days from the time they left China.

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Australian citizens and permanent residents are able to enter Australia but need to isolate themselves for a fortnight.

The government first introduced a 14-day travel ban for travellers from mainland China at the start of the month. It has since been extended three times.

The new travel ban will end on Saturday, March 7. The government will review the ban again within a week.

The government at the weekend announced it would allow senior high school students from China to travel to Australia under strict protocols.

But Morrison told reporters on Thursday there were “no carve-outs” as part of the extended travel ban.

More to come.

-ABC