Australia on March 19, reportedly announced a ban on any non-residents arriving into the country in a bid to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that a ‘travel ban’ will be placed on all non-residents, non-Australian citizens coming to Australia. Currently, Australia has 636 coronavirus cases, of which 40 came in the last 24 hours. The deadly virus has also claimed six lives in the country.
As per reports, the widening restrictions on travel are expected to help push Australia’s economy into its driest recession in nearly three decades in the first half of 2020. The Reserve Banks of Australia (RBA) also reportedly reduced its cash rate to an all-time low of 0.25 per cent and said that the board would not tighten policy until it achieves its employment and inflation goals. The country’s airline Qantas also said that it will be halting all international flights for at least two months in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Australia has reportedly also declared a ‘human biodiversity emergency’ as it prohibited citizens against travelling overseas and banned all non-essential gatherings. Earlier this week, Morrison made a formal declaration for Australians to ‘mandatorily’ abandon travel and movements saying that the coronavirus pandemic could last six months. According to the reports, the declaration gives the right to the government to cordon off cities or even regions, impose curfews and order Australians to quarantine, with or without consent, if deemed necessary to contain the pandemic.
"The travel advice to every Australian is 'Do not travel abroad. Do not go overseas.' That is very clear instruction," PM Morrison said. “We haven't seen this sort of thing in Australia since the end of the First World War. This is a once in 100-year type event. We are looking at a situation of at least six months for how we deal with this. It could be much longer than that. It could be shorter. That is unlikely, given the way we are seeing events unfold”.
"Life is changing in Australia, as it is changing all around the world. Life is going to continue to change." Morrison further added saying, “ I can't be more blunt about it. Stop it. It is not sensible, it is not helpful and it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis.”