Australia will ban any non-citizens from entering the country from tomorrow night to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that from 9pm on Friday, March 20, anyone who is not an Australian citizen or resident will be barred from entering the country.
However, the ban does not apply to family members of permanent residents and citizens.
The ban, which has no end date, is likely to cause chaos for thousands of temporary residents who live and work in Australia, such as people on skilled work visas.
Morrison said the world-wide travel ban was an extension of existing bans on people coming from Italy, South Korea, Iran and China.
“After further consultation with the National Security Committee this afternoon, tonight we will be resolving to move to a position where a travel ban will be placed on all non-residents, non-Australian citizens coming to Australia, and that will be in place from 9pm tomorrow evening,” Morrison said.
The federal government will also pour billions into Australian small business, in a desperate effort to stave off recession and spiking unemployment during the coronavirus crisis. In addition, Reserve Bank announced a slashing of interest rates to an unprecedented low of 0.25 percent.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said “extraordinary times require extraordinary measures” before announcing a financial assistance package of $15 billion “to invest in residential mortgage-backed securities as together with other asset-backed securities”.