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Coronavirus: Australia bans 100-person gatherings, “don’t go overseas”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told Australians to not go overseas and that 100-person gatherings are now banned, effective immediately.

These are unprecedented times.

Don’t go overseas

Yesterday, the DFAT advised that Australians abroad should return home as soon as possible because more and more countries are closing their borders and are introducing travel restrictions.

Major airline Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) yesterday announced a 90% cut in its international flights and this morning Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) announced it would cancel all international travel between 30 March and 14 June.

Australia’s official travel advice now is not to go overseas.

Mr Morrison said: “For those considering going overseas in the school holidays: don’t.”

According to Mr Morrison, the biggest number of infections has come from Australians returning from overseas.

This obviously has implications for Qantas, Virgin, Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB), Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT), Helloworld Travel Ltd (ASX: HLO) and Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD).

More gatherings banned

Australia has now banned gatherings of 100 people, effective immediately, to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

However, schools will remain open because closing them could mean tens of thousands of jobs could be lost and 30% of health workers have children which would need to be looked after.

Time will tell which shares are affected by this new limit, but in the economy there are plenty of venues which now won’t be able to hold events, though many things have already been cancelled.

Retail hasn’t been specifically mentioned – it’s not as though people deliberately congregate in crowds of over 100 within shops – but it will be interesting to see how people interpret that. I wouldn’t be surprised to see people avoid a lot of physical shops in the current environment.

Foolish takeaway

Australia’s economy will continue to be affected by these bans, which is why the government is now working on a second package to help businesses and individuals.

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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, Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, and Helloworld 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.

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