Aussie airports roll out acid mats for Bali holidaymakers

Bali International Airport Passengers Travel people wearing masks to protect from Covid-19 CoronaVirus

Australian airports will roll out sanitation mats to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease following an outbreak in Bali.

Minister for Agriculture, Senator Murray Watt announced the move on Wednesday as part of the Albanese Government’s plan to protect Aussie livestock through stronger biosecurity measures.

The mats will begin to appear in international terminals this week, starting in Darwin and Cairns.

Travellers arriving in Australia from Indonesia will be asked to walk across the mats, which contain a citric acid solution, to sanitise the soles of their shoes.

Those arriving from Indonesia will still be asked to declare their contact with farms and livestock, and those with visibly contaminated shoes will continue to be taken to the biosecurity area.

“I directed my department to look at what could be done around footwear to complement the other measures in place and after careful consideration, we have decided to deploy sanitation foot mats in Australia’s international airports,” Watt said.

“The fact is, there is no biosecurity silver bullet – our biosecurity controls rely on a multi-layered approach to mitigate the risk of FMD.

“These sanitation mats will be a physical reminder to passengers to do the right thing to limit any spread of FMD, and will be used in conjunction with our current measures, such as passenger declaration, 100 per cent profiling of all passengers entering from Indonesia, real-time risk assessments, questioning and shoe cleaning.

“We still encourage Australians to clean their shoes and clothing, and even leave their footwear overseas if they can.”

Last week, Queensland senator Susan McDonald urged the government to suspend flights from Bali to avoid an agricultural crisis of “biblical proportions”, joining a growing number of politicians and representatives of the farming community voicing concerns over the outbreak.

The federal government increased biosecurity measures for flights from Indonesia earlier this month to make sure travellers did not unwittingly bring the disease into Australia.

While FMD does not pose a risk to human health, it can be passed onto livestock from clothing or footwear and cause painful blisters in cattle, sheep, pigs and goats.

An outbreak could lead to a mass slaughter of livestock to eradicate the highly infectious disease, potentially costing Australia $80 billion.

The Bali Hotels Association (BHA) has advised its members to inform guests of the increased biosecurity measures and encourage them to leave their shoes or clothing that may have been contaminated at their accommodation.

Member hotels will have any clothing or shoes left behind cleaned and donated to communities in need through BHA’s CSR program.

Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation has also come up with a novel solution, offering travellers discounts if they bin their shoes.

President of the National Farmers’ Federation, Fiona Simson said there has never been a “greater act of national service” than throwing your thongs in the bin.

“Foot and Mouth Disease loves to hitchhike on shoes. That means your dirty old holiday pluggers could be the thing that brings this disaster to our shores. Don’t risk it!” she said.

“I never thought we’d be helping people buy new shoes to keep my cattle safe, but here we are.”

Featured image: Bali International Airport (iStock/Rajaraman Arumugam)

Latest News

  • Aviation
  • Products

Luxury fashion house Missoni adds amenity kit to Delta One experience

Italian luxury fashion house Missoni will soon be part of the Delta One experience with a new customer amenity kit. Missoni – a brand well known for its creative use of colors and patterns – will elevate Delta One with the new amenity kit and top-of-the-line details woven into key touchpoints throughout the Delta One […]

  • Cruise

Viking Cruises special 8-day cruise rate

Viking cruises is providing a special offer on its 8-day Rhine Getaway itinerary for November 2024 departures with a strictly limited basis. The cruise takes guests out to discover the charm of old-world Europe as they sail through Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The itinerary includes visits the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, and medieval towns […]

  • Cruise

Variety Cruises launches “Sell Three, Sail Free in Tahiti” promotion for travel advisors

The family-run, small-ship cruising company, Variety Cruises, has introduced an incentive for travel advisors booking holidays on the company’s Tahiti and French Polynesia cruises. To win a free cruise for two people, the promotion requires advisors to sell three cabins on Variety itineraries in Tahiti booked by 15 September, 2024 and through to 30 April, […]

  • Cruise

Viking is gold sponsor of 2024 Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival, presented by Palace Cinemas via Val Morgan Cinema

Viking has announced it will be a gold sponsor of the 2024 Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival presented by Palace Cinemas via Val Morgan Cinema. The festival, now in its 10th year, showcases the best Nordic contemporary cinema from international film festivals including Göteborg, Cannes and Berlin. The sponsorship provides Viking with the opportunity to connect […]

  • Hotels

The Dorchester rooms and suites

The Dorchester has unveiled additional rooms and suites with a new butler program to enhance guest experience, marking another milestone in its renovation. The portfolio of the world’s foremost luxury hotels and residences, Dorchester Collection, has refurbished room interiors to continue its commitment to reinvent tradition. The Dorchester’s interiors, re-envisioned by interior design firm Pierre-Yves […]

  • Events

Bastille Festival 2024

Residents and travellers can immerse themselves in the vibrant spirit of France as Bastille Festival Sydney returns with a jam-packed program to ignite the Paris Olympic spirit. The annual four-day celebration brings the spirit of France to the heart of Sydney in honour of French Bastille Day. It commemorates two significant events in French history: […]

  • Aviation

Air Astana donates upcycled aircraft furniture to Almaty Airport

The Air Astana ‘Upcycling for the Future’ project involves the creative recycling of used aircraft parts, with furniture having been previously exhibited at various locations across Almaty since 2022.   The aim of the Air Astana project is to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact. Air Astana Group is the largest airline group in Central […]

  • Conferences
  • Travel Agents

New Zealand’s biggest business event marks Matariki

Matariki, the Māori New Year has been celebrated at a spectacular event for MEETINGS 2024 buyers at Rotorua Airport last night (Wednesday, 19 June). RotoruaNZ Business Events and Coast Group presented a special dinner with supporting partners Rotorua Airport, Terrace Catering, Event Impressions and The Production Agency. The evening featured a stunning 12-minute light and […]

  • Tour Operators

Albatross Tours’ feeling Festive as it guarantees remaining places for Christmas 2024 tours

European tour specialists, Albatross Tours, has guaranteed every tour for Christmas 2024 is a goer. “The Albatross festive program has established itself as a real favourite for Australian travellers. We have a fabulous choice of Christmas market locations – Berlin, Dresden, Prague and Ljubljana are just a few,” managing director Shelley Poten said. The all-inclusive […]