Australian PM announces travel ban on all non-residents

VIRUS LATEST

VIRUS LATEST

On Thursday Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia will banning the majority non-residents from entering the country.

He also urged all Australians overseas to come home as soon as possible, adding that Qantas would be working with the government to help Aussies abroad to return, although they will still be subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine put in place earlier this week.

More than 700 people have been infected with the virus in Australia, with nearly 50 now recovered.

The Australian Government has unveiled its toughest measures to rein in the coronavirus, warning Australians not to travel overseas, and has placed a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

A cap of one person per four square metres for indoor gatherings has been recommended by chief medical officers.

Morrison outlined that this decision was made because "around 80% of the (coronavirus) cases we have in Australia are either the result of someone who contracted the virus overseas, or someone who has had direct contact with someone who has returned from overseas".

"All of the cases of COVID-19 identified in New Zealand relate to people traveling to New Zealand and bringing the virus with them - therefore we need to further restrict the risk of people bringing the virus into New Zealand".

"That is what we have to do to save lives".

Italy reports 427 new deaths from coronavirus, surpasses China
He said the continent should learn from other continents to manage the pandemic. The figure overtakes the number of total deaths in China from the outbreak.

Social distancing guidelines for public transport will also be discussed, as will additional support for indigenous communities and disability support recipients.

The ban comes at a time when Australia as a nation has just witnessed its highest daily spike, which could mean we might be too late in self-isolating ourselves from the rest of the world - especially considering the coronavirus was an overseas virus to start with.

Earlier this week, the government announced all Australians now overseas should return home immediately, using commercial flights.

Morrison has already flagged a stimulus package worth around A$17 billion and said on Wednesday the government was "considering quite extensive further economic measures" to tiresome the impact on the economy.

The update came just hours after the Reserve Bank of Australia took the drastic measure of slashing the cash rate to a record low of 0.25 per cent.

Tasmania has imposed the most dramatic lockdown in the country, requiring nearly everyone entering the island state to go into quarantine for two weeks from Friday.

Outdoor events of more than 500 people have been banned.

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