The Australian government on Thursday banned the arrival of foreigners from South Korea, tightening its border controls in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus as it recorded its second death from the illness.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also extended existing bans on foreigners arriving from mainland China and Iran and said there would be tougher screening processes for people arriving from Italy.
"It affords the best protection and enables us to slow down the rate of transmission," Morrison told reporters in Canberra as he outlined the new restrictions.
Australia was one of the first countries to take a hardline approach to tackling the coronavirus outbreak, imposing border controls on visitors from the epidemic's epicenter in China just over a month ago.
Iran, Italy and South Korea have each reported thousands of coronavirus cases.
The restrictions mean that any foreign traveler who has been in China, Iran and South Korea within two weeks of arriving in Australia will be turned away.
Australian nationals and residents are exempted from the bans, but are required to self-isolate from two weeks on their return to Australia.
Morrison said the bans would be reviewed on a weekly basis.
Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed that Australia now has 53 cases of coronavirus. The majority of those cases are people who contracted the disease while onboard a Carnival Corp cruise ship and were evacuated back to Australia for treatment after the Diamond Princess was quarantined off the Japanese coast.
However, concerns are growing that the illness may spread more rapidly as people in at least five of the confirmed cases contracted the virus locally, including doctors who had not treated any known infected patients.
The extension of the travel bans are expected to weigh on Australia's economy.
Australia's Treasury Department on Thursday earlier warned the crisis will subtract at least half a percentage point from the country's economic growth in the current quarter.