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South Korea travellers banned, did ASX shares fall?

Australia has decided to block foreign citizens coming from South Korea from entering the country in another negative turn of events for global travel.

The hope is that keeping citizens from China, Iran and South Korea out of Australia will mean Australia’s outbreak is smaller.

Passengers from Italy will also be subject to more stringent health assessments, they will also face questions from quarantine officials.

Media are also reporting that Australia may decide to implement more travel bans or screening with European nations.

Australian officials are still encouraging people not to panic buy and that they should continue living normally. Toilet paper is now being rationed at Coles Group Limited (ASX: COL) and Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) supermarkets. And other non-perishable food is fast flying off the shelves.

Australian travel shares were mixed on the news. Australia has a connection with South Korea, but it’s not the same as the link with China.

The Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price ended slightly down. The Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) share price dropped another 6.5%. The Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) share price fell 1.7%.

In Sydney Airport’s January 2020 passenger update, it showed that South Korea was the seventh highest nationality travelling through Sydney Airport. So, no South Korea passengers may mean a noticeable hit to Sydney Airport’s total passengers and earnings.

Foolish takeaway

The share returns are one thing (and uncertain), but the human effects of the coronavirus are having an effect and it seems it will continue to spread for some time.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited and Sydney Airport Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Webjet Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.