by BERNAMA/ pic by AFP
MALAYSIANS in Australia were told to remain calm and not hastily decide to return home in the wake of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, said the Malaysian High Commission in Australia.
The High Commission, in a statement, said the government has decided that Malaysians should stay put where they are and not return home.
“However, those with short term visas and students who have financial difficulty and would not be able to sustain their stay in Australia for an extended period may return home via the available commercial flights.
“Malaysians in Australia should keep safe and healthy, (and) update themselves with all regulations in place by the Australian Government in the state they are residing, especially as different states have taken different measures in dealing with the pandemic.
“This includes the requirements for quarantine, social distancing and restricted social gatherings,” said the High Commission in a reply statement to Bernama.
The High Commission said since the announcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia which started on March 18, they have received calls from Malaysians regarding available flight options to return to Malaysia due to cancellation of flights and other issues affecting their stay in Australia.
It said it has received enquiries on issues related to accommodation from 32 Malaysians and three students.
The statement said there are Malaysians flying back to Malaysia almost on a daily basis despite the limited operation of commercial flights from major cities in Australia.
“The numbers vary everyday based on the tickets purchased by the Malaysians themselves. However, we understand that there are Malaysians who have decided to extend their stay in Australia until the outbreak subsides.
“We advise all Malaysians in Australia to remain calm and vigilant. They should not hastily decide to return home thinking that it is safer in Malaysia,” it added.
The High Commission also expressed its sincere gratitude to the Australian Government and state authorities which gave full support in ensuring that those wanting to return home are able to do so with minimal restrictions and difficulties.