(The Center Square) – After Israel stopped allowing entry to foreign travelers on Sunday due to the new COVID-19 variant, Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson on Monday postponed his trip to the country and Greece, scheduled for later this week.
"We are postponing our trade mission because we want to respect the travel policies and practices enacted by the host countries," Parson said in a statement. "While we are disappointed that we have to postpone, delaying our trade mission is necessary and the best course of action to ensure the health and safety of our state leaders, private partners, and staff who were planning to join us. We look forward to traveling to Israel and Greece soon."
Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson planned the trade mission for Dec. 2-11. The purpose was to build relationships with international representatives and promote Missouri’s trade capacities.
Israel became the first country to stop entry for all foreigners.
The governor’s office announced he and the First Lady would be present at several holiday events in Kansas City and Jefferson City during the remainder of the week.
About $66 million in goods were exported to Israel and Greece in 2020, according to information provided by the governor’s office. The most-exported items were cars and trucks to Israel and chemicals and machinery to Greece.
Details on the rescheduling of the trade mission will be released when confirmed, according to communications director Kelli Jones.