Up to 63K fines and jail time - travel loophole

24 replies

benjo

Member since 17 Apr 2013

Total posts 57

Goodmorning all.


I had come across this article and thought it might be a good talking point. What are people’s thoughts on this actually being implemented and people receiving fines or even jail time. I myself don’t believe they will actually jail anyone…

This to me is just a scare tactic to stop people from say going to Auckland then onwards to their final destination. I know of two friends who have actually done this to move back to UK/EU to be with family and say they are going to stay there for at least a year.


Law change to stop Aussies using loophole to travel outside trans-Tasman bubble


Australians looking to use NZ as a port to go overseas could be slapped with a massive fine or even be jailed under new laws.

Australians looking to use New Zealand as a port to go overseas could be slapped with a massive fine or even be jailed under newly changed laws.


Since the two neighbouring countries entered into the quarantine-free arrangement on Monday, thousands of people have travelled between the ANZAC nations.


Some were quick to point out the Kiwi nation could be used as a port to travel further abroad, as New Zealand does not have laws forbidding overseas travel without an exemption like Australia does.

But Health Minister Greg Hunt was quick to put an end to the scheming, amending the Biosecurity legislation to specify that Australians could not use NZ as a port to go overseas.

Under the Act, which was amended on Monday, anyone who breaks the rules can be fined up to $63,000 with the minimum penalty being $6300. They could also face five years in prison if found guilty.

However, the changes exclude those who must travel for compassionate reasons, such as where a close family member is seriously ill or has died or for urgent medical treatment.


Australia closed its international borders in March last year in a bid to stop COVID-19 from spreading across the nation.

Residents have been banned from leaving the country without an exemption, with Australian citizens being the only people allowed to enter.


The Health Department said travellers should be aware that international travel to any other country, except New Zealand, continued to pose a “significant risk to public health”“For that reason outgoing travel to other countries remains restricted,” a department spokeswoman said in statement.“Australians considering travel outside of Australia or New Zealand are still required to apply for an exemption from the outgoing travel restrictions through ABF, and ensure they review the information available on Smartraveller relevant to their destination.”



Benjie.


mviy

Member since 05 May 2016

Total posts 299

If they leave and don’t come back till after borders reopen it would be much less likely to be enforced than if they went away for say three weeks for a holiday and then came back.

dm12

Member since 08 Feb 2018

Total posts 137

If they’d get on with the vaccination program this issue would go away quicker

desafinado74

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 02 Dec 2016

Total posts 12

Absolutely disgraceful move by the Federal government. It is bad enough that Australian citizens are banned from leaving the country to start with.

GoRobin

Member since 07 May 2020

Total posts 70

Since the federal and state governments declared their states of emergency it has allowed them all to pass countless legislation, some of them draconian, without having to undergo the usual judicial review process. It serves these governments very well in their states of perpetual pandemic. I think this kind of thing is common in places like North Korea. So I am now a criminal according to these laws. Who would imagine it after my 65 years on the planet!

Phil Young

Qantas

Member since 22 Oct 2012

Total posts 201

I don't like the fact that we cannot travel overseas at present without serious compassionate grounds or to NZ, but I fully support the Government's decision, and the decision to close the loophole for anyone thinking of using NZ as a means to leave. Thanks to these draconian measures, Australia is an extraordinarily safe place to live at present, unlike too many other countries.

StuParr

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 01 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

I hear daily stories from a friend who is in a covid emergency room in Brazil. I fully support the measures they have brought in. As he says, our response has been based on science and the populace has largely respected that. Unlike what he has seen there.

Dundas

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Nov 2012

Total posts 8

I would like to see some decisive action on quarantine arrangements (which are clearly still not working well), on helping the government of PNG and our other neighbours, and on a better communicated vaccination program (the present figures don't look like we'll get anywhere near herd immunity) – and then Australians might be able to leave the country – and return – with a measure of safety. But as my preferred destinations include Japan which is even worse in rolling out its vaccination program than we are, I don't think I'll be travelling anywhere anytime soon.


desafinado74

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 02 Dec 2016

Total posts 12

Originally Posted by tripleplatinum2

Originally Posted by GoRobin

Since the federal and state governments declared their states of emergency it has allowed them all to pass countless legislation, some of them draconian, without having to undergo the usual judicial review process. It serves these governments very well in their states of perpetual pandemic. I think this kind of thing is common in places like North Korea. So I am now a criminal according to these laws. Who would imagine it after my 65 years on the planet!

Following the advice in place and rules would have been the smart move, comparing it to North Korea is nothing short of pathetic. The advice always was to not travel overseas and this rule just closes the loophole, so like so many selfish Australians you chose to ignore the rules and are now crying for sympathy.

Why do Australians need permission to leave the country at all ? We don't need the government to nanny and decide for us in every aspect of our lives ! It is shameful that Australia and North Korea are the only countries in the world that ban it's own citizens from leaving. And it is time for Australia to move on from this obsession of zero cases and "Fortress Australia" mentality and start taking steps to returning to normality. Look at other countries....The EU is set to welcome vaccinated Americans back this summer. Travel bubbles are forming everywhere. I applaud the Victorian government today for welcoming back international students. Time for the current federal government
to stop pussy footing around , and start forming a plan to re open the international borders, allow vaccinated folks to enter without quarantine, and introduce home quarantine. And on top of it, get rid of the ridiculous caps so that expats can return in greater numbers, and eliminate this ban on Aussies wanting to fly out. (Many Aussies have families / lovers overseas, or have jobs, medical and personal reasons to leave)

desafinado74

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 02 Dec 2016

Total posts 12

Originally Posted by Dundas

I would like to see some decisive action on quarantine arrangements (which are clearly still not working well), on helping the government of PNG and our other neighbours, and on a better communicated vaccination program (the present figures don't look like we'll get anywhere near herd immunity) – and then Australians might be able to leave the country – and return – with a measure of safety. But as my preferred destinations include Japan which is even worse in rolling out its vaccination program than we are, I don't think I'll be travelling anywhere anytime soon.


Fingers crossed in 2022 or 2023 at the earlist. I am planning to visit Japan and the US once the international borders re open.

desafinado74

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 02 Dec 2016

Total posts 12

Originally Posted by StuParr

I hear daily stories from a friend who is in a covid emergency room in Brazil. I fully support the measures they have brought in. As he says, our response has been based on science and the populace has largely respected that. Unlike what he has seen there.

Not sure how a ban on Aussies leaving is a good thing at all. And the quarantine is a mess in Australia , with both the states and the federal govt arguing with each other on who should be responsible. And this obsession with zero cases and a "Fortress Australia" mentality suck. And you should not compare Australia with Brazil / India. It is like comparing apples and oranges ! You should be comparing Australia with other successful counties such as Taiwan, Vietnam and Singapore. Even USA and the UK are way ahead with the vaccine rollouts and taking major steps in returning to a normal life.

desafinado74

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 02 Dec 2016

Total posts 12

Originally Posted by Phil Young

I don't like the fact that we cannot travel overseas at present without serious compassionate grounds or to NZ, but I fully support the Government's decision, and the decision to close the loophole for anyone thinking of using NZ as a means to leave. Thanks to these draconian measures, Australia is an extraordinarily safe place to live at present, unlike too many other countries.

Well, what are your criteria in re opening the international borders ?

TheFreqFlyer

Member since 05 Oct 2017

Total posts 58

Originally Posted by mviy

If they leave and don’t come back till after borders reopen it would be much less likely to be enforced than if they went away for say three weeks for a holiday and then came back.

I agree. And that's probably what most people who are looking at using this loophole will be doing. I don't think there will be many who are intending on leaving for 3 weeks and then try to return, only to face complications in making travel bookings and spend $3000 on a 2-week stay in quarantine.

No rational person would be willing to endure that. However, to leave Australia and stay away for a year or two at least, to get back to their lives overseas? Yes. Many people are waiting to do that and some might exploit the loophole for this reason.


Grannular

Member since 31 Mar 2014

Total posts 219

Originally Posted by TheFreqFlyer

Originally Posted by mviy

If they leave and don’t come back till after borders reopen it would be much less likely to be enforced than if they went away for say three weeks for a holiday and then came back.

I agree. And that's probably what most people who are looking at using this loophole will be doing. I don't think there will be many who are intending on leaving for 3 weeks and then try to return, only to face complications in making travel bookings and spend $3000 on a 2-week stay in quarantine.

No rational person would be willing to endure that. However, to leave Australia and stay away for a year or two at least, to get back to their lives overseas? Yes. Many people are waiting to do that and some might exploit the loophole for this reason.



My understanding was that if you wanted to leave the country for an extended period of time (6+ months), then you get an exemption. No need to go via NZ

GoRobin

Member since 07 May 2020

Total posts 70

Actually, why should there be any restrictions to leave the country if one wants to? Why does the government want to make it a crime? It is already almost impossible to get back unless you have a lot of money for an expensive flight and willing to pay for the mandatory quarantine. Plus, if you want to come back from some countries it is all but impossible. So why make it a crime that someone leaves when the government knows that you probably won't be coming back until the end of their perpetual pandemic? The only answer I can come up with is that Minister Dr Hunt has no plan for anything.

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