Lockdowns and $3 Trillion in Aid Power Global Virus Response

(Bloomberg) — As the coronavirus extends its reach around the globe, schools and universities are closing; lockdowns have become commonplace; non-essential businesses like cinemas, gyms, clubs, bars and restaurants are shut; and companies are asking employees to work from home wherever possible.

To help meet the costs of all this, governments around the world have pledged or are considering as much as $3 trillion in fiscal support. That aid ranges from guarantees on bank loans to tax deferments and even to cash handouts.

The European Central Bank has boosted liquidity for banks in the euro area and loosened capital demands, and is buying an additional 120 billion euros ($132 billion) of the region’s bonds. The U.S. is weighing a $1.2 trillion stimulus. The European Union, all 27 of whose member states have announced protective measures, closed its borders.

Below is a country-by-country list of broad actions taken or planned by governments of G-20 nations to counter what has turned into the deadliest pandemic in more than a century.

Argentina

* Central bank may compel private banks to lend to companies.

* Domestic travel suspended for coming holiday weekend. Schools, borders closed through end of March. Government considering ordering everyone to stay at home for 10 days.

* More than 4 million retirees to get a one-time payment in April.

Australia

* Cut benchmark interest rate to 0.25%. Government expected to release a second stimulus package after an initial A$17.6 billion ($10.6 billion) to support the economy.

* All citizens warned to avoid overseas travel indefinitely.

* Non-essential gatherings of more than 100 people banned.

Brazil

* Government plans to spend about $30 billion, half of which will be used to help the poor and elderly.

* Lenders given more flexibility to use capital and measures announced to facilitate debt negotiations.

Canada

* Government set aside C$1 billion ($702 million) in funding and C$10 billion in new credit. It may buy as much as C$50 billion in home mortgages. Additional fiscal stimulus was to be announced Wednesday.

* Borders to most foreigners and citizens advised citizens to avoid non-essential travel.

* Central bank cut rates by full percentage point; loosened capital requirements to boost lending.

China

* Central bank pumped 550 billion yuan ($78 billion) of liquidity into the banking system by cutting reserve requirements. Taxes cut for virus-hit companies, and there are plans to spend more on infrastructure. Debt cap increased to help smaller companies raise funds overseas.

* Beijing quarantines all travelers from overseas for two weeks; Shanghai quarantines arrivals from 16 countries.

* Most public venues, including schools, remain closed.

France

* Ban on unnecessary movement, fines for non-compliance. Non-essential services, schools, bars, restaurants, clubs, gyms closed. Grocery stores, pharmacies open.

* Testing and tracking only if doctors consider crucial.

* Emergency budget to include 45 billion euros of spending and 300 billion euros f loan guarantees.

Germany

* Most public and private venues such as bars, cinemas and museums closed. Non-essential services shut; supermarkets open, including on Sundays.

* All people with unexplained respiratory symptoms to be tested.

* Government to make as much as 550 billion euros available in lending for businesses from German state bank KfW.

India

* Central bank boosts cash injection through 13.5 billion rupees ($181 million) of long-term repo operations and $2 billion for the foreign-exchange market.

* Most inbound travel visas suspended; arrivals prohibited from some countries.

* Residents asked to avoid non-essential travel; schools, gyms, museums and theaters closed.

Indonesia

* Central bank expected to cut its policy rate; bank bought billions of dollars of government bonds and intervened in currency markets to stabilize the rupiah.

* Government stimulus package increased to 33.22 trillion rupiah ($2.19 billion).

* Mosques urged worshippers to stay at home.

Italy

* Non-essential services, schools closed; unnecessary movement banned in a lockdown.

* Testing and tracking only for patients showing symptoms.

* 25 billion-euro package, including loan guarantees, takeover of Alitalia and funds for businesses and individuals. Short-selling banned for 90 days.

Japan

* Central bank raised the upper limit of its annual ETF purchase target to 12 trillion yen ($112 billion).

* Government urged residents to halt travel to most of Europe; inbound travelers from Europe need to self-quarantine.

* Some government officials signaled a possible delay of the Tokyo Olympics.

Mexico

* Set aside about $150 million in aid.

* Schools set to close next week.

Russia

* Ban on entry to most foreigners; schools closed.

* Free tests for people who’ve visited high-risk countries.

* $4 billion fund to assist businesses and individuals; tax payments deferred. Central bank sold 22 billion rubles in foreign currencies.

Saudi Arabia

* Land crossings closed and international flights halted; pilgrimages to Mecca banned. Non-essential services closed.

* Testing for those with symptoms. Self-quarantine for those who have come in contact with infected people.

* Package worth 50 billion riyals ($13.3 billion) in loans and loan guarantees to businesses.

South Africa

* National disaster declared; gatherings of more than 100 people banned; schools, 35 of 53 land crossings closed; access closed to travelers from high-risk countries.

* Testing available for those with symptoms.

* Government working on measures to minimize economic impact; central bank may cut interest rate by 50 basis points on Thursday.

South Korea

* Central bank cut benchmark interest rate to record low. Government to accelerate special 11.7 trillion won ($9.4 billion) budget; cap on banks’ foreign-exchange forward positions eased by 25%.

* Testing widespread, covering more than 10,000 people a day; test results accelerated.

* Travel advisory alert raised for some European countries; school reopening delayed.

Turkey

* School, mosques, non-essential services shut; flights to and from 20 countries suspended; about 10,000 citizens returning from pilgrimage to Mecca quarantined.

* Central bank cut one-week repo rate by a percentage point, added liquidity into markets by cutting amount of foreign exchange lenders must park and postponing foreign-exchange debt repayments by exporters.

U.K.

* Public advised to avoid all non-essential travel overseas, as well as use of public transport, gatherings with friends and family; limiting interaction with others by people over 70.

* Testing to be increased and those with symptoms asked to self-isolate at home for seven days; if living with others, not leave the house for 14 days.

* Government promised help with mortgage payments, and support for airlines, shops and the hospitality industry, with 350 billion pounds ($424 billion) of government-backed loans, grants and tax cuts.

U.S.

* Government advises people not to congregate in groups of more than 10 and suggests states close schools; about 75% of schools closed nationwide.

* Congress debates $1.2 trillion in spending, including direct payments of $1,000 or more to Americans within two weeks.

* Twenty states ordered restaurants, bars or both closed to sit-down customers. New York City may order citizens to shelter-in-place after closing all bars, restaurants and theaters. Residents of the San Francisco Bay Area ordered to stay at home.

* Ohio canceled March 17 presidential primary election and closed schools.

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