The financial pain caused by the Chinese travel ban looks set to continue for Ballarat businesses after Prime Minister Scott Morrison extended the ban on Thursday evening.
The coronavirus-related travel ban preventing Chinese visitors and students from entering Australia due to end this weekend has been extended for a further week.
"We did not take this decision lightly," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Thursday, after a national security committee meeting.
"We are very mindful of the disruption and economic impacts of these arrangements, but I note Australia is one of 58 countries that has introduced some form of travel restrictions."
Tourist attractions across the region have been preparing for the drop in Chinese tour groups, with The Courier previously reporting Sovereign Hill projecting a 70 per cent cancellation rate from their Chinese visitors.
One business which has seen a sharp decrease in international visitors is the Golden Crown restaurant at the corner of Barkley Street and Main Road.
Owner Sandra Thai said her business has felt the effect of the travel ban, estimating around a 20 per cent drop in customers over the past few weeks.
Mrs Thai, who has owned the business for over 40 years, said it has been a difficult time, but thanked her regular local customers for the patronage over the past few weeks.
"It is always tough when you lose customers," she said.
"But we are doing okay. The majority of our customers are local Australians who have stuck with us.
"I just hope all local businesses have been as lucky as us, it is a tough time."
The restaurant industry across the state has felt the impact of the travel ban, with iconic Chinatown eatery Shark Fin House set to close after customer numbers collapsed over coronavirus fears.
Speaking with The Age, owner Co-owner Gabriel Chan said people had been scared to come to the venue, a favoured lunch spot for politicians, business people and celebrities for more than 30 years.
The impacts on the education sector however are starting to disperse, with a Federation University spokesperson insisting "classes and activities will continue as normal."
"None of our staff or students have been impacted by the virus," the spokesperson added.
"Our focus is on ensuring our staff, students and local communities are informed about the university's response to the coronavirus, including the latest travel and health advice."
These sentiments were echoed by a St Patrick's Ballarat spokesperson, who said the school had no updates and its 14 day 'stay-at-home' period for any students was up.
- With AAP
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