Coronavirus crisis: EU shuts borders close, massive stimulus packages announced in UK, US

While you slept borders closed, massive stimulus packages announced in UK, US

With borders closing in the European Union to all non-member countries there's no wonder the Australian government issued its "head home now" message overnight.

Australians travelling overseas should come home as soon as possible, updated advice from the Australian government says.

Australians have also been told to reconsider their need to travel, an upgrade from previous advice recommending against non-essential travel.

An update to the Smart Traveller website on Tuesday night warned that Australians overseas should make plans to return as soon as possible, due to border closures across the world.

The New Zealand government has offered similar advice to its nationals overseas at the moment.

Key developments overnight

EU border close to non-essential travel

EU member states have agreed to close the EU's borders to all non-essential travel for 30 days.

The travel ban will affect all non-EU nationals from visiting the bloc, except long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods. More from the BBC.

Australian COVD-19 case breakdown

The total number of confirmed cases, based on a tally of numbers provided by health authorities in each state and territory, now stands at 453.

  • There are 210 in New South Wales
  • 94 in Victoria
  • 78 in Queensland
  • 32 in South Australia
  • 28 in Western Australia
  • 7 in Tasmania
  • 3 in the Australian Capital Territory
  • 1 in the Northern Territory.

White House wants $850 billion stimulus package, UK's is $660 billion

In the US the White House said that it supported the idea of sending cash payments directly to Americans as part of a broader $850 billion stimulus proposal.

"We're looking at sending cheques to Americans immediately," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The UK government also let loose the purse strings, announcing a £330bn of business loans during the coronavirus pandemic -that's more than $660 billion in Australia.

The government also offered cash grants of £25,000 to help pubs, restaurants and shops who face closure after Boris Johnson urged the public to stay at home.

As the UK's death toll rose to 71, the country's top scientific adviser said coronavirus may have already infected 55,000 people and the foreign secretary warned Britons against travelling outside the country.

Aldi changes opening hours, limits some items, offer behaviour guidelines

There's a few other changes to its operations announced on Tuesday night - new trading hours, extra product restrictions, a refund policy change and new conditions of entry.

Aldi's taking a stand on shopper behaviour.

Aldi's taking a stand on shopper behaviour.

Aldi's expectations of customer behavior was presented in seven points:

  1. Respect our employees and their physical space
  2. Respect each other and look out for those less able
  3. Practice good hygiene in our stores
  4. Do not attempt to 'game' our product restriction policies
  5. We remind you that we will not accept any violent behaviour (verbal or physical) in or around our stores and the police will be called immediately if required
  6. Be kind, be calm, be empathetic and most of all be courteous
  7. And please, do one nice thing for someone else when you leave our store today.

For all the other details about the changes Aldi has introduced, click here

The Queen cancels garden parties

Queen Elizabeth is taking no chances and as a "more mature woman" won't be exposing herself to gatherings of the masses.

A little less waving for Her Majesty. Photo: PolizeiBerlin

A little less waving for Her Majesty. Photo: PolizeiBerlin

She has cancelled garden parties at London's Buckingham Palace and will leave the palace on Thursday for Windsor Castle as a "sensible precaution" amid Britain's coronavirus outbreak, the royal family says.

Several meetings at Buckingham Palace this week, including the queen's audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will go ahead as as planned, it said.

Why hold a grudge, eh?

Uh-oh. Olympic kingpin tests positive

Japan Olympic Committee deputy chief Kozo Tashima has tested positive to coronavirus.

"Today, my test result showed positive for the new coronavirus," Tashima said in a statement, issued via the Japan Football Association, which he also heads.

"I have a mild fever. Examinations showed a symptom of pneumonia, but I'm fine. I will concentrate on treatment following doctors' advice," he said.

Japanese officials insist that the summer Games - due to start in July - will take place as scheduled.

While we're on the Olympics ...

Spain's Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco would prefer this summer's Tokyo Olympics to be postponed because his country's athletes are unable to train due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympics are scheduled to be held July 24-August 9, and the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday that it was fully committed to the games taking place and that there was no need for "any drastic decisions" regarding the event.

'Vast majority' of UK firms not protected for shut downs

No surprise that after British PM Boris Johnson advised people to avoid pubs, restaurants and theatres, he's copped a backlash. And this could be a sign of things to come in Australia.

Mr Johnson told people not to visit the venues but didn't ordering businesses to close, the BBC reported.

Many from the entertainment industry say without a direct order from government, they will not be protected by their insurance.

But the Association of British Insurers claims most companies would not be covered anyway, even if there were to be a dictat from Downing Street.

Here's what Italian people in quarantine want you to know about coronavirus

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe it is believed the US, England, France, Spain and Germany are about nine to 10 days behind Italy in the COVID19 progression. Australia is further behind that again - giving us the opportunity to learn from others. People from across Italy recorded a message to the themselves of 10 days prior.

Student is NZ's 12th positive, high school to close

A Dunedin school will close for at least 48 hours after a student tested positive for coronavirus, Stuff reports.

Ministry of Health director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed on Tuesday another three cases, from the existing eight. A fourth has now been confirmed by Logan Park High School in a message to parents.

Yes, this could be you after a few days ...

Or maybe you'll cope with isolation a bit better. Or maybe you'll just have better moves.

ER doctor diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending national conference for ER doctors

A physician from San Francisco, Rosny Daniel, attended a conference for ER doctors in New York City. Two days later, he tested positive for the coronavirus, suggesting that dozens of frontline healthcare workers could have been exposed.

"There was more hand sanitizer than I've ever seen at a conference," Daniel told Buzzfeed.

New York faces the prospect of a huge ventilator shortage

As the coronavirus has swept across New York, officials have become increasingly alarmed about a bleak reality: The state may not have enough ventilators for everybody who could need one.

It is still possible that the state could slow down the spread of the virus enough to curb the demand for ventilators, the machines that help the sickest patients to breathe. But a panel convened a few years ago by the state found that in the worst-case scenario of a flulike pandemic, New York could be short by as many as 15,783 ventilators at the peak of the crisis.

UEFA hits pause, Kentucky Derby and French Open move dates

Elite football has virtually hit the pause button overnight after UEFA has put all European club and national team soccer competitions for men and women "on hold until further notice".

The the current Champions League and Europa League matches are on hold, while the playoffs for Euro 2020, which were scheduled for the end of March, will now be played at the start of June "subject to a review of the situation" - so, maybe.

This year's Copa America also has been postponed until 2021 due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus, the South American Football Confederation says.

The Kentucky Derby, the first jewel in North American horse racing's Triple Crown, was been postponed to September 5.

The only other time the race has been delayed was in 1945 when World War II pushed it back a month.

The organisers of the French Open have postponed the claycourt Grand Slam tournament until Sept 20-October 4.

Reaction was "mixed".

It's comes to this for Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman

Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do ... For a certain K. Urban, that's doing his thing in a warehouse with a guitar and three others, including his partner Nicole Kidman.

No chance of anyone sneezing on you, no safety issues at all - enjoy a mini-concert.