photo from US Department of State

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marisa Payne visit Palau this week will be postponed, following Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s plea for its citizens to reconsider overseas travel in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

With this, strict border control measures came to effect in Australia yesterday that anyone who arrives into the country must self isolate for 14 days

Mr. Morrison said cruise ships would also be banned from arriving to Australian ports for at least 30 days.

Australia’s travel advisory stated that there may be a higher risk of getting the novel coronavirus disease overseas.

According to the travel advisory, the Australian nationals may come in contact with more people than usual in crowded airports and during long-haul flights.

“Health care systems in some countries may come under strain and may not be as well-equipped as Australia’s or have the capacity to support foreigners,” the advisory read.

Ms. Payne’s visit was to officially open Australia’s embassy in Palau.

The Australian Embassy in Palau opened on 17 December 2019 as part of Australia’s Pacific Step-Up.

“Australia is delivering on its objective to open a mission in every Pacific Island Forum member country. Expanding our diplomatic footprint in the Pacific is vital to the Step-up.”

She said Australia and Palau have a strong bilateral relationship and one of a show of that ties is Australia providing a new Guardian-class Patrol Boat to Palau in mid-2020, replacing the existing Australian-made vessel.

Australia is also supporting Palau’s role as host of the Our Oceans Conference 2020 over 17-18 August. (B. Carreon)