All non-residents of Australia have been banned from travelling to Australia, starting from 9pm tomorrow.
According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, there has already been a large reduction in travel to Australians by non-citizens with a reduction of around two thirds. Anyone arriving will still have to go into 14-day isolation.
This decision follows on from the RBA’s decision to cut Australia’s interest rate to 0.25%. The RBA and the government are trying to build a bridge to economic recovery.
The Prime Minister said that it wants to help Australia get back to where the economy is rebounding, health is rebounding and life can go back to how it was. He also said that, currently, 80% of the confirmed cases in Australia have come from overseas, or have come in direct contact with someone who has come from overseas.
The government is also working with banks, meaning ones like Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), to prevent foreclosure on mortgages.
People on Newstart may also see a change, at least for the shorter-term, whilst the coronavirus issues are ongoing.
What does this mean for ASX shares?
I can see why Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) and Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) decided to cut their international flights if there had already been such a large reduction in passenger numbers.
Travel businesses will continue to be affected for some time by this.
It’s also a concerning time for the banks. Not just the big ones, but also the smaller ones like Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ), Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) and Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN).
Officials and commentators are warning of hits to the economy and jobs. Hopefully these measures aren’t needed for long and the coronavirus can be brought under control, otherwise it may be harder for the economy to recover quickly the longer this goes on.
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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 National Australia Bank Limited. 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.