Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that large parts of the Australian economy and social life will be closed from midnight Wednesday. Further restrictions were agreed by the government, following an initial ban to non-essential overseas travel. However, prime minister Morrison stopped short of a full lockdown like other nations, as he said the cabinet would not “just rush on the sense of an opinion of inevitability” as actions may limit the spread of the virus and a full lockdown would threaten the livelihood of many Australians.
Morrison urged Australians to stay at home unless it was absolutely necessary to go out, suggesting that outings should be only for basics such as attendance at work, exercise with a partner or in a small group, or attending shops to buy food or medicine. Restrictions were also applied to funerals and weddings which must be limited to 10 people or fewer. Visits to the homes of friends and family should also be kept to a minimum.
At the time of writing, the latest data confirms a total of 2,139 Coronavirus cases in Australia and the government are confident that they are acting much sooner and with more information than other countries have, hopefully limiting the damage to the Australian economy which seems inevitable elsewhere.
All of this follows the announcement of a second stimulus package at the weekend, which includes AU$100bn in emergency banking in case interbank lending dries up, along with a further AU$66bn rescue package, in addition to the AU$17.6bn already promised. The government has now committed to almost AU$189bn with the promise to go further if needed.
The Aussie dollar gained more than 2% against USD during yesterday’s trading although is still more than 14% down against the US dollar over the past 3 months, and almost 17% down over 12 months. AUDUSD recently crashed to its lowest level since 2003 as coronavirus panicked investors. The Reserve Bank of Australia has slashed rates to .25% and with the most recent actions, the Australian government is now trying their best to minimise the forthcoming damage but as like most countries, a deep recession is likely.
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