PM Extends Travel Ban To Italy, Outlines $2.4 Billion Coronavirus Stimulus Package
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed the Federal Government's decision to extend the travel ban to Italy as the coronavirus crisis heightens.
Morrison made the announcement while outlining the government's $2.4bn stimulus package to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
The travel ban will come into force at 6pm this evening, according to Border Force officials.
"We've received advice from the APBC today regarding Italy... and that advice is that as the situation in Italy is now commensurate with the other countries where we previously had travel bans put in place, so we'll be extending that travel ban to Italy now," Morrison declared.
He added that it is important "not to overstate this".
"Italy itself has effectively put itself into lockdown with travel now, and this largely closes that loop," he said.
Morrison explained any Australian -- residents or others -- who are exempt from those travel bans, would be subject to the same isolation period that applies to the other countries for which there are travel bans.
"This is a health crisis. We have to address the health issues and that's what this package of measures is designed to do today," he concluded.
Italy joins China, South Korea and Iran on Australia's coronavirus travel ban list.
In regard to the stimulus package, the PM said $2.4bn will be injected to help drive programs and support the wellbeing of Australians.
He anticipates a little less than $1.2bn will spent this financial year, "particularly as the virus and its impacts ramp up in the months ahead".
That health response covers the areas of primary care, aged care, supporting our hospital systems, as well as investing in research from testing to clinics and hotlines while ensuring all residents can access relevant medications.
"The most vulnerable parts of our community are very much in our attention," Morrison said.
"And that doesn't just mean those who are elderly or frail, and in care facilities, but those who are in remote parts of the country -- particularly those in Indigenous communities. There are specific measures that we're announcing today that go to those issues."
He confessed, however, that despite our world class health system it will no doubt come under stress and strain.
That is not a reason for alarm or concern, because the plan and the resource and the preparedness and the professionalism of our health system will attend to those needs," Morrison added.
"It is important that as we go through the months that are ahead, that we all have confidence in that plan."
You can read more about the Federal Government's coronavirus stimulus package below.