The Australian Antarctic Program is taking precautionary measures to prevent the potential spread of the novel coronavirus to our stations on the continent and sub Antarctic Macquarie Island.

Australia’s Antarctic research stations are isolated with limited medical capacity.

The following steps are being undertaken to minimise the potential risk of exposing Australian Antarctic Program staff and expeditioners to the novel coronavirus:

  • Only essential passengers will fly south to Australia’s Wilkins Aerodrome, near Casey research station, this week. This will result in the cancellation of about 23 southbound passengers, but will not significantly impact the current summer season’s work program.
  • On Macquarie Island upcoming tourist ship visits have been restricted from visiting the station.
  • The travel history of other national program expeditioners moving through Australia’s Antarctic stations has been reviewed.

Each summer season more than 500 people travel south from multiple nations as part of the Australian Antarctic Program.