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Coronavirus: Australia Bans Travellers From Italy

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As outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 continues to expand in Italy, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday announced a ban on travellers arriving from the embattled European country.

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The move came after Rome government put in place severe restrictions on domestic travel. As of Tuesday, Italy had the most cases of the virus outside of China and had recorded more than 460 deaths.

With effect from Wednesday evening, all non-Australian residents travelling from Italy will be banned from entering the country and returning Australian residents will have to be quarantined for 14 days.

Morrison in a press conference Wednesday also announced a 2.4 billion Australian dollar (1.56 billion dollar) health funding package that would focus on virus testing and looking after elderly and Indigenous Australians.

Australia has recorded over 100 cases of the virus so far and three deaths, according to the latest government statistics.

Several high schools and university campuses have been shut down and travel bans have already been implemented with China South Korea and Iran.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said 20,000 people have been tested for the virus.

Australia’s popular winter solstice arts festival Dark Mofo, which attracts well over 100,000 visitors each June to Tasmania, has been cancelled as a result of the virus outbreak, organizers said on Wednesday.

The festival is reliant on millions of dollars of ticket revenue, which organizers said they would not be able to make up amid public uncertainty, but they will move the current program to June next year.


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