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Majority of Australian businesses affected by coronavirus pandemic

(Xinhua)    15:38, April 07, 2020

CANBERRA, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Two thirds of Australian businesses have lost money as a result of COVID-19.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Tuesday released the results of its second survey on the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

It found that 66 percent of businesses said their turnover or cash flow has been reduced by the virus, which has forced widespread business closures across Australia.

Almost 40 percent of businesses have changed how they deliver their products or services, including restaurants shifting to exclusively takeaway, in order to abide by strict physical distancing rules implemented by federal, state and territory governments.

About 47 percent of businesses said they have made changes to their workforce because of COVID-19, including changing the location where staff worked, staff being placed on leave, or temporarily changing working hours.

Australian Parliament will re-convene on Wednesday to vote on legislation for the government's 130 billion Australian dollar (79.5 billion U.S. dollars) wage subsidy package.

Under the scheme, full-time, part-time and casual employees who have had their work status affected by the virus will be eligible for a fortnightly payment of 1,500 Australian dollar (917.6 U.S. dollars).

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on Tuesday announced that Australians who are working from home will be able to claim 80 cents for every hour worked from home as a tax deduction.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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