13 Nov 2010

Australia restricts travel with PNG over cholera outbreak

5:40 am on 13 November 2010

Travel between Australia's Torres Strait Islands and neighbouring Papua New Guinea has been restricted in an effort to contain a deadly cholera outbreak.

Queensland health officials are already monitoring cholera's spread in Daru, one of the closest PNG towns to Australia, where the death toll has reportedly passed 20.

After speaking with PNG authorities, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced that Australia had restricted all cross-border travel under the Torres Strait Treaty free-movement provisions.

The department says the restrictions prevent traditional visits to Australia by indigenous inhabitants, and will remain in place until further notice.

The department said the border between Australia and PNG otherwise remained open, and travellers would need a valid passport and visa to cross.