Australia to impose '4,000 per week' cap on inbound passengers

The number of arriving passengers will be halved "for the foreseeable future."

By David Flynn , July 10 2020
Australia to impose '4,000 per week' cap on inbound passengers

Australia will limit the number of travellers arriving into the country to a maximum 4,000 passengers per week "for the foreseeable future", Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this afternoon.

Speaking after a meeting of the National Cabinet, Morrison said that beginning Monday July 13 there would be "a reduction in the number of inbound arrivals into Australia across those ports that are able to accept returning Australian citizens and residents... to ensure we can put focus on the resources needed to do testing and tracing."

"They will be cut by just over half across all the various ports that are taking those … residents returning to Australia."

Federal government figures show that across the past four weeks some 28,000 people entered Australia, most of whom arrived at Sydney and were then quarantined at the expense of the New South Wales government.

While admitting the cap "it will be more difficult" for some Australians still overseas to return home, Morrison said that he didn't believe the passenger cap "is surprising or unreasonable in the circumstance that we find ourselves in."

Melbourne has already halted all inbound passenger flights until at least July 15 to help combat a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases, although this is likely to be extended to late August now that the state is under a six-week 'second wave' lockdown.

Sydney subsequently instituted a cap of 50 inbound passengers per flight, and 450 inbound passengers across the whole day, due to concerns that an overflow of travellers on flights originally bound for Melbourne would strain the state's hotel quarantine budget, which has already exceeded $50 million to date.

This week, Western Australia said it would limit international arrivals to 75 passengers per day, and 525 per week, after three new cases recorded in WA were all from returned overseas travellers.

Morrison didn't detail how airlines would handle these passenger limits, although it's expected that some flights could be cancelled if the capacity ceiling makes them uneconomical.

User-pays for hotel isloation stays

The National Cabinet has also flagged moving the compulsory 14-day hotel quarantine periods away from being funded by each state towards to a user-pays system, as has already been done in Queensland, along with "a nationwide review of hotel quarantine."

Morrison previously remarked it would be "completely understandable" for returning travellers to start paying for their own hotel quarantine.

"There's been many opportunities for people to return. If they're choosing to do so now they've obviously delayed that decision for a period."

The Queensland government embraced the user-pays model as of July 1, contracting a package deal with hotels across the state at $135 per room, with up to two adults and children allowed in a single room. Adults are charged $65 per person per day for meals, with children's meals at half price.

That pegs the total cost for 14 days at $2,800 for a solo traveller, $3,710 for a couple, $4,165 for two adults with one child and $4,620 for a family of four.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

30 Jun 2020

Total posts 6

About time we saw the shift to 'user pays'. Those of us needing to travel for personal business & property maintenance reasons, and likely to be away for 2 - 3 months, would I am sure, be happy to 'pay as you go'.

This also controls total passenger numbers as there is minimal incentive to travel for a short period.

Air Canada - Aeroplan

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 40

Morrison says inbound should pay for thier own quarantine as anyone wanting to return could have done so by now. Wrong. No way of getting from Canada to Australia since the first week of April. Air Canada running nothing until at least September, and I expect that to be put back again. I've made several tries to get to Australia, all cancelled. And no, I'm not wlling to fly via America (besdes, my so-far unused Business Class flight pass is only good for AC).

21 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

Why are you unwilling to fly via the USA?

Air Canada - Aeroplan

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 40

Because California, the only transit point, has rampant Covid.

07 May 2020

Total posts 39

Outthere1000...you are quite right. I have been stuck in Germany since April with a return ticket with Singapore Airlines. Of course the flights are repeatedly cancelled, rescheduled for some weeks later and then cancelled again and the whole process repeated. At this time I am rescheduled to return to Sydney on 2 Aug. There is also no way that I will pay for 14 day quarantine once I arrive back. So at the airport, if NSW government wants to quarantine me at their cost that is ok. If they want me to pay I will refuse so I guess my quarantine will be spent in a prison cell. So we will see how much the Australian government cares about anything.. Some people posting comments on this blog have not the slightest idea about the situation that some of us wishing to return have had to face. But then this pandemic situation has allowed greedy, thieving and selfish people to find their soap box. Lots of frustrated ears.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 85

@ GoRobin

I am not picking a side here but you do realise that they probably will make people do the following things

1. Prior to checking in at departure they will only accept pax who sign a declaration that they are aware and accept the t&c of quarantine including payment where applies. Or they can do this at the border force screening at the airport arrival, and simply turn them back if people refuses to sign (and it becomes the airlines' problem and hence it is likely the airlines rather do the screening before departure). Whatever legality of enforcement is probably covered by public health order etc, just like anyone (citizen or not) entering Australia is expected to follow the local laws.

2. People will get the bill at the end of the quarantine and they can leave without having to pay for it, as they probably give people 3-6 months to settle the bill. Non payment however, it is likely the state government will use its powers to pursue people whatever it can do, and for interstate debt it will be treated similarly to high value traffic offence or fines.

Not sure if the state government ever sell off the long term debts to private debt collectors but individual's credit rating may get a heavy battering if the private companies get their hands on it

I am merely guessing here but i had made very reasonable assumptions.

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

Good on you. Citizenship must be taken seriously. The vitriol on comment sites such as here and SMH right now are pathetic. The country is turning wildly insular right now. The reality is that the govt cannot stop you from arriving, nor will they try. There will be financial hardship exemptions. Any fine issued will likely be easily thrown out in court. Any attempt to raise a debt will also be challenged.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1224

outthere1000 - If you're "not wlling to fly via America" then options to get from Canada to Australia do exist, you just don't want to take them. You should pay for your own quarantine costs on arrival.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

23 May 2019

Total posts 5

There are flights from Canada to Australia via Hong Kong or South Korea (or at least you could two weeks ago). Both quite low risk countries. If you haven't returned by now, it's likley because you're permanently living overseas -- you can then hopefully afford the 14-day quarantine if you're relocating back to Australia. If not, I assume there are government programs to assist.

29 Mar 2018

Total posts 9

Outthere1000, you have just contradicted yourself! You said you can't get home but you actually can! It's your choice not to travel via America. I understand this but you can actually get home.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 748

If you really wanted to come home, you'd accept 13 hours in Economy Class.

AMR
AMR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2014

Total posts 8

You made a choice NOT to travel home via the US & to wait to use your business class credit (despite in May/June the Northwest US having amongst the lowest infection rates) - the Australian taxpayer should not need to support your personal choices.

Air Canada - Aeroplan

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 40

Because California, the only transit point, has rampant Covid. California is not the North-West.. It has one of the highest infection rates. As for other airline options, the Air Canada website (the only airline operating out of where I am) shows no options via anywhere at present, though it does show one using ANA via Tokyo in August. As for the comment about 13 hours in economy, well, it's actually 28 hours from where i am, but that's just an aside. And I'm glad people commenting here can afford to throw away a two-trip, time-limited J pass that cost over $18,000. I know I can't.

08 Jul 2020

Total posts 9

outthere1000 - I certainly empathise with your situation, saddening that many Australians on this and other forums related to this subject, probably from the the comfort of their own lounge chair and familiar surroundings, choose to make throw away comments and judgements without assessing the facts. More disturbing is young Scotty weighing in, suggesting those returning have had "many opportunities" are "choosing" to return, have "obviously delayed" therefore it's "completely understandable" to have to pay for quarantine, adds volume to the negativity towards those currently STUCK in another country, in our case turning a one month holiday into a 3+ month nightmare. Information regarding global airport closures, ours being Nairobi, is not difficult to find on a google search. Having paid tax in Australia for a combined 61 years between my wife and myself, deciding on OUR behalf to spend OUR depleted funds in a hotel, on a further 2 weeks of time theft, in an alleged democracy is a disgrace...SHAME,SHAME,SHAME

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2016

Total posts 37

@outthere1000 - I'm in same boat as you (Canada) and am considering flying Emirates to return to Aus later this year. They have (or soon will) have 3 flights per week from YYZ-DXB with varying transit times before a flight DXB-SYD or BNE from there. A long way around I agree, but I did it last year and it was fine. Not sure if you're in YVR or elsewhere but it's something to consider to avoid USA. On the plus side, at least we're having a great summer here for once!

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

If you are thinking this is being paired with a more liberal exemption policy on overseas departures, you are sadly mistaken.

The ban on overseas departures can last maybe a couple more months before it just becomes an illegitimate human rights violation (the Cth Attorney-General's own website says as much). There's a lot of quiet human suffering right now as a nation of migrants cannot visit relatives overseas.

Something has to be figured out. Taiwan's system is completely reasonable for us to adopt. Hotel quarantine, regardless of payor, is completely unsustainable on a longer term basis.

EH
EH

12 May 2020

Total posts 4

I'm assuming this new restriction will lead to airlines cancelling their inbound flights and therefore outbound too. Anyone know which airlines are cancelling flights at this point?

10 Apr 2016

Total posts 45

I reckon they would be happy with the 50 limit. Freight plus high yielding business class passengers. Forget the rest.

We need flights to take our produce out of the country.

AMR
AMR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2014

Total posts 8

There are quite a few cargo only flights to/from Australia each day. On top of this Qatar saw the opportunity & took it to gain lucrative cargo business while the other airlines pulled out.

To the US, there are daily flights SYD/HNL for a number of the global delivery services such as DHL.

AMR
AMR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2014

Total posts 8

It would help if the Federal Govt would actually tell the whole truth, and/or the media actually look into/vet what they pick-up & publish.

There are three groups allowed into Australia by the Federal Govt however they are not talking about the largest of the three groups which make up to 70+% of passengers arriving per flight.

Scomo talks about:

# Australian citizens

#Australian permanent residents

But is conspicuously silent about the largest group (since 3rd week of April):

# close residents (aka foreign nationals) of the above two groups. This covers mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, partners, other dependents etc

It was reported that on three 'repatriation' flights into Melbourne in early June that over 60% were foreign nationals arriving as 'close relatives' of Aust citizens or permanent residents. One group (numbering 11 people) were all 'close relatives' of one Australian permanent resident who was not on any of the flights.

This third category is costing the State Govts millions and was behind the push in Qld to start charging as the NT has been doing since April. International arrivals into the NT (despite flights still coming in) dropped to near zero as people re-routed to Qld to avoid paying.

For some reason this topic is taboo for all sides of politics (scared of swing-voters tied to these nationalities perhaps?) & the media.

05 May 2016

Total posts 581

Want to leave Melbourne for an immediate family member's wedding. If this means the rules are relaxed for who can depart Australia in time for me to be there later in June (this month) I'm all for it.

05 May 2016

Total posts 581

oops I meant July.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1224

Seriously? A wedding is hardly an essential reason for travel.

05 May 2016

Total posts 581

Maybe not to you, but when you've been waiting for it for years, and consider a wedding to be one of the most important events in life perhaps you'd think differently. You don't know my circumstances.

Where have we come to in society where people think marriage is just a piece of paper that doesn't mean anything?

Or perhaps in your family a wedding happens every few years. Not everyone is in that position.

I'm prepared to pay for my quarantine when I return so it wouldn't be hurting others for me to go.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1224

And you don't know my circumstances either. For the record, we did have a wedding of a close family member planned for earlier in March this year that would've involved lots of us travelling from multiple parts of the globe to the wedding, that was then postponed in light of the pandemic. Everyone understood it was the right and only thing for us to do. No one had a sulk and cry.

As far as the law stands at present, I invite you to point me to where it says attending a wedding is legal grounds for travel. If you feel so strongly about this I recommend you entreaty your local MP to your cause.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 85

@ eminere

Whatever mviy's perception of the legitimacy of the reason for essential travel is for the border force to decide on what is written on the application and declaration. It is interesting that our government is stopping residents from leaving Australia For anything other than whatever “essential travel “ is but I suspect it's more to do with the expectations by many that the government bails people out when they have trouble overseas (from the Wuhan experience) as well as the costs of maintaining a quarantine (the hotel and food costs is only part of the expenses).

No point getting upset about it since there may be many other possibly “unworthy” real reasons being given approval that you and I are not aware of, whereas there is probably even more worthy reasons (family member dying within days or weeks) getting palmed off

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1224

XWu - I would have far more sympathy for a travel exemption application on the grounds of the imminent death of a family member, than a wedding.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

XWu to be fair ‘ essential travel' is clearly defined on the government website.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Mviy, like in Australia and many other parts of the world weddings have been restricted to five persons for the past four months. Remember the first outbreak in NSW was 30 cases from a wedding. So even it is allowed (eg in the US) there is a huge health risk, so allow the wedding with five and have a big party later in the year or next year.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 748

I don't believe there has been any changes on the rules for those getting permits to leave. Unfortunately for you, a wedding probably still won't be sufficient.

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

It will not be relaxed. There is no chance you will receive an exemption, unfortunately.

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 41

Perhaps the trade off for the users pay system for hotel quarantine on return is the removal of the outbound departure travel ban restriction which requires approval from Home Affairs department?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Cxflyer but then you maybe on airline queues for a seat back. In the end the flights may be business class plus cargo even in the economy cabin as is happening elsewhere.

05 May 2016

Total posts 581

I would not mind waiting in a queue to get back or paying for quarantine on my return if it means I could get to my immediate family member's wedding.

Having said that I would be pleasantly surprised with any relaxation on restrictions of outbound international travel.

I guess we'll see if anything's announced in the next day or two.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 147

If its a user pays system - why not open the border

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 72

Why can't we quarantine in our homes, with a Covid test, after travel? Seems to work for Hong Kong etc, and they don't have the spikes that Melbourne had.

If anything, it is the hotel quarantine system that has caused this second wave because of incompetent management.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

KW72 they tried that and 15% wouldn't follow the rules. Also there can be no visitors which are hard to police

05 May 2016

Total posts 581

If you were in an apartment building even something as simple as taking trash out to the common bin area could risk leading to infecting others in the building.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

KW72 remember the ruby princess. They were sent to home quarantine and several hundred cases later...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1224

Because essentially people cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

23 Jun 2019

Total posts 5

The HK system is strict, effective and humane. You don't leave the airport until tested and results available. It depends heavily on technology and requires those who test negative to do the 14 day self isolating at home and to wear a GPS tracker. If you test positive you are taken to a hospital or a government quarantine Center. The Australian hotel incarceration is a cruel blunt and ineffective method, and highly subject to human failure. Current issues in Victoria are not the fault of travellers, rather they are the fault of government and public service ineptitude.

Worth also noting, based on numbers given by the CMO two days ago, only around 0.5% of incoming travellers test positive to COVID.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 140

hooray! pay for your own quarantine! Permanent residents and overseas students who cry poverty are give nfree accommodation! WOW! if I made my way to Israel or Switzerland I have to pay for my own quarantine Another display of the nanny-country mentality! And FYI your wonderful health authorities won't even acknowledge the virus is airborne for hours At least other countries have mandatory mask wearing My job puts me into the highest risk for SARS-COV-2 and haven't I seen ignorance is bliss!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Not sure international students get free accommodation. Most are stuck here with being able to leave or work. Nowhere near as rosy as you suggest.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 140

Sorry but if you can afford the $30K or plus per year for the uni course (at least the os students im exposed to), then don't cry poverty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just my 5 cents/dinars/malaysian/singapore/hk dollars worth! At least the shekels go to Harvard Yale Columbia etc

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

cbourl usually it is not them who is paying it is their government/loan sharks/relatives or the jobs they had here but no longer have. Much more complicated than you suggest. Some are from wealthy families many not so.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Mar 2018

Total posts 47

Actually, there are a lot of underlying dark, social issues.

Anyways, IATA and ACI has ruled. Once their here, Ausytraliua is repsonsible for the.

It seems like they're targeting the upper middle classes,s ome of which are starting to run

23 May 2012

Total posts 45

To be on the safe side one could:

  • do a Covid test 14 days prior to travel, if negative
  • another one on the day/day before travel, if negative, board the plane
  • same procedure (as every year (as per Dinner for One)) on the return trip, with the possibility (if you want to be absolutely sure) a test on arrival and another one 14 days later.
  • If any of those tests are positive, the travellers has to go into quarantine, either hotel or at home.

There are already a number of testing stations at e.g. European airports (e.g. Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt) where tests can be done upon arrival/departure and results known within 4-6 hours. If negative, the traveller is free to go. Why not do the same at Australian airports?

Such an approach seems to mitigate risks of infection and may result in reduced numbers of passengers having to undergo hotel quarantine, thereby offering relief to existing infrastructure and avoid unnecessary possible infections during hotel quarantine.

Just a thought ....!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Cdirmber a good idea but like any self-isolation idea how would you enforce the 14 days self isolation from the first to the second test. You are right it takes 7-14 days for symptoms to show and a positive result. False negatives in a symptomatic people are far too high for testing to be reliable. Of course you can catch it in transit.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Feb 2016

Total posts 2

I'm living and working in Germany, and would like to come home later this year, whilst I do agree in principal that I should be responsible for the costs of my quarantine, i think the near $3000 price tag is ridiculous. If we have to pay i think they should also offer some cheaper options, or about half of that cost should still be subsidised.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 994

If I were to be forced into a hotel for 14 days, rather then spend those 14 days in my own bedroom, a discounted per night price might be alright, but shouldn't be forced onto someone simply because a handful of others decided that the rules don't apply to them.

As for charging for hotel food. No. Just give me a fridge and a microwave in this hotel room and I'll make a delivery order from a supermarket for maybe 10% of what the hotel will charge for 2 weeks of food.

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

Yeah the food charge in Qld is outrageous. The accom is not so bad.

07 May 2020

Total posts 39

XWu....your points are taken. I have travelled a lot and never had an airline at checkin ask me to sign a declaration that I am aware of the laws that are applicable at the destination country. Australia would have to get its act together a lot more than it currently has to get the airlines to do something that from my experience they have never done before, except check visa validity. So if I arrived at Sydney airport they could ask me to sign such a nonsense payment form which I will obviously refuse because I have no money left and I have been unemployed for 5 months. So let's see if they deport an unemployed Australian Citizen and to which country. Maybe Christmas Island. Anyway, the UK government tried this quarantine payment farce and it was deemed illegal. Fortunately many countries in the world have now come to terms that humans need to get use to living with the virus and manage the health issues like any other disease. An elimination strategy will not work and never has as much as Australian pollies like to promise that it will work. Some of us are just gonna die. Survival of the fittest has a meaning after all.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

GoRobin most countries of the world have either closed borders or quarantine. There is a website with the full list. ‘Living with the virus' as you suggest is not so easy as countries or states (Texas and Florida come to mind) that have tried it have found. Hospital systems get quickly overwhelmed and not only prevent COVID people accessing proper health care but other sick people as well. ‘Managing the health issues' is being done like any other highly infectious disease for the last century or more, and that is preventing the spread through quarantine and those other measures we are getting used to.

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

There's nothing you can do, and it's not in violation of any law to appear at the border to enter as a citizen without money. Don't worry about it. Most they will try is a fine, which will easily be tossed in court, or to create some civil liability (debt) which again could easily be invalidated. Most likely they will just waive you through as a hardship case.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 85

@ GoRobin

Sorry for the late reply. Didn't see your response down the list

Having previously travelled on a visa entering Australia, I am quite aware of the reluctance of several airlines to allow any pax to board on a flight to Australian ports without the paperwork (a relative was even put on hold with associated anxiety when they were unable to confirm the paperless visa when the internet server on the Department of immigration was down).

Not sure of the legality of denial of entry of the Australian citizens or residents into Australia but if the airline is faced with the possibility of responsibility of sorting out their pax denied entire and requiring repatriation flights and associated interim accommodation issues, some airlines rather not take that risk by deny boarding, and refund your monies in their own sweet time.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

GoRobin I assume you are putting yourself among the ‘fittest' you want to survive. Be careful for what you wish for as the ‘fittest' are also catching COVID and not surviving, or if they do have a miserable life ahead of them.

07 May 2020

Total posts 39

patrickk...I do believe that Australia is delusional thinking that it can eliminate the virus. For a start, there is no requirement to even wear masks. Even 5 months on from the start of the pandemic. Yeah I know you are going to quote some research dismissing the concept of masks, but Australia is so far behind on finding a way forward. The gear stick is still stuck in reverse.

07 May 2020

Total posts 39

patrickk....I never said that I was one of the fittest. You do seem to love to get personal with your responses. You should refrain from that and accept that, thankfully, not everyone takes your point if view.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

GoRobin apologies for being personal I was merely reflecting on the concept of ‘survival of the fittest', and what means in a practical COVID sense. And I fully agree with you on masks and I do wear them in any semi-crowded space. I don't think Australia can eliminate the virus and apologies for seeming to suggest it can. It can however manage/suppress it with public health measures such as mask wearing, and again apologies for being ‘delusional'.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

23 Jun 2019

Total posts 5

Let's stop vilifying returning Australians. Most are not tourists, they are families torn apart by this pandemic. Many Australians and have been stranded or work overseas, need the jobs, and are heartbreakingly separated from loved ones. Be kind, be compassionate, don't be cruel.

Qantas

02 May 2016

Total posts 56

Joke......no other country on this entire planet is stopping or restricting its own citizens from returning. You can't tell me any hotel in Melbourne is going to have any occupants during the next 6 weeks of lockdown. Move to user pays for quarantine if needed, but this plan seems like a political knee jerk.

05 May 2016

Total posts 581

The point of not having returning travellers is to empty the quarantine hotels and give time to try to get the COVID outbreak under control.

Then with the hotels emptied they can start from a clean slate with improvements to how quarantine is managed so that the problem doesn't happen again.

Now that quarantine will be user pays hopefully they will provide adequate resources to manage the quarantine. Hopefully they are considering that when deciding on pricing.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Cr not sure ‘no other country...' is correct. I can name quite a few starting with NZ. Much of the rest of the world has restrictions on incoming folk regardless of nationality.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 72

All the comments here vilifying returning Australians as lazy clearly are brain dead sheep who have no sympathy for personal situations or global circumstances.

Families are split across countries, people have jobs overseas that have suddenly ended. Countries have had borders closed not allowing people to leave even if they wanted to. Not to mention that it is a basic human right that citizens have a right to enter and exit their own country.

Have a bit of compassion and stop chastising those in situations you cannot empathise with!

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

I agree. I can tell you there are two sides to the coin, though. From my line of work, I deal with that other side, unfortunately can't say more. Ultimately, the cost really isn't a big deal and this is all just to calm the masses angry about quarantine lapses right now.

Qantas

02 May 2016

Total posts 56

Unfortunately some keyboard warriors here will never get it. In the middle of this pandemic I've had to sell my house in the US, get my stuff shipped back, get my girls out of school, new jobs, sell cars and everything I can't take back plus organise a dog shipment that can only go to Melbourne and now it looks the dog can get back easier than we can, so stressful for the family. You just can't do this in 2 months. I will pay the flights, I am even ok to pay the quarantine....just makes no sense.

Maybe they need to deprioritize any returning Australians with a return ticket back to an overseas country, ie not returning citizens - essentially visitors. If you have a return ticket back out of Australia, you should go to the bottom of the list.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2016

Total posts 37

@crwilkins I 100% sympathise with your situation. I had my plans all laid out to return to Aus earlier this year and then the pandemic hit and the world came to a standstill. In the midst of this, lost my job - so no transfer home, and I am now in a legal battle which means I have to stay here for the time being. When that's settled, I'll have to sell my house, sell electronics etc, ship the rest of my stuff home all the while, trying to find a job. I cannot even begin to book flights as I have no idea on dates.

It's so easy to be judgmental on these forums but everyone's situation is unique and everyone has been impacted in some way or another by the virus. Sitting back and assuming that expats have been lazy or slow to react and return home is a thoughtless comment to make and demonstrates a lack of empathy for people's personal situations. If I could have, I would have come back months ago. For the record, I don't have an issue paying for quarantine on arrival - though confess wish I could choose my hotel.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

23 May 2019

Total posts 5

Maybe they should introduce a tax deduction for quarantine ... wouldn't be ideal as you'd have to wait 12 months to get the money back, but could be a solution to make sure you take up residency back in Australia and aren't just a tourist.

I do feel bad for those in your position, and really sorry you're going through that. But not sure what the solution is when there are a lot of people who've just happily taken their chances overseas and now want to return to Australia for whatever reason. Hopefully we are investigating alternative arrangements for quarantining people that're more comfortable and cheaper ... but it'll be tough to make sure there is compliance. As we've seen in Melbourne, it takes just a few slip-ups to undo all the good work over the past 10 weeks.

31 Dec 2014

Total posts 31

If they make it user pays there can be no excuse for not reopening the border.

However I would much prefer a strict, enforced home quarantine system with harsh penalties for any breaches.

And I concur with those who emphasise that most travellers now are away on compassionate reasons. I'm sure nobody is jet setting around on holidays. This stereotype is not helpful.

I'm currently in Europe helping the family with a recent and unexpected death. I fear my return flight might now be cancelled. The last thing I need is more shrill voices calling to shut the borders, they should be home by now, make ‘me pay. Quarantine is for the community's benefit, not the traveller's.

Remember, Australia is one of the most multi cultural in the world and we must be empathetic to that.

10 Jul 2020

Total posts 1

I am a 72 year old Australian on the Australian aged pension wishing to return to Perth in the next 3 weeks.I am not adverse to paying some $ for quarantine hotel accommodation but $2800 for 14 days is beyond my budget.

08 Jul 2020

Total posts 9

Paying for quarantine that the government decided was compulsory is not only beyond budgets, it's beyond belief.

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 214

DFAT told all Australian's to return home on March 18th. Whilst I empathise with those still stuck overseas there was plenty of comms foreshadowing border entry restrictions.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 174

I'm getting so sick of this line being trotted out. Everyone's circumstances are different, for many it's just not been possible or reasonable to ‘return home' over the last few months. As if that is really a concept these days - for many people where is home exactly? You may scoff but that just demonstrates either a lack of compassion or unwillingness to consider others situations.

I'll give you an example - just this week the ICE in the US announced, totally without warning, that international students not attending in person classes in the fall semester must ‘go home' or face deportation. Most US colleges have gone largely or completely to online lectures because of COVID-19, so kids already in the US that were set up and planning to study in the US this next 6 months are in many cases all off a sudden needing to return home. Many Australians studying in the US are affected by this, right when Australia is severely limiting incoming arrivals. This sort of thing is happening all the time now, things you thought were settled just change overnight. It'll be this same for the next couple of years at this rate.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 72

So if an Australian citizen who lives overseas has lost their job this month, or has a family member who falls ill in the next few months it is entirely their fault because DFAT warned them to return on 18th March? OK then.

UA

30 Jun 2015

Total posts 22

As far back as March, China required inbound pax to pay A$200/day for their quarantine. One blog I read then was of a student who bailed out of the USA having booked an abstruse 7 sector flight to avoid crowded aircraft and was finally, frustratingly, quarantined in a hotel within sight of his home.

I hold an increasingly faint hope of getting to Canada in late November (booked on AC34 with just one other in Business) but fully expect to pay for quarantine where required. And to #nyjoe4, despite being a UA 1K and Skymiles Platinum, there is no way I plan to fly anywhere via the USA for the next 24 months without a working vaccine.

24 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

There are approximately one million expat Australian citizens living overseas, plus an unknown number of short term travellers and permanent residents. If they all want to come home over the next several years at the rate of 4000 per week it will be at least five years before they could all get back to Oz..

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Diego then that is tiger case. Their are such things as capacity limits.

10 Jul 2020

Total posts 4

Absolute economic suicide, not to mention the humanitarian impact these "knee-jerk" restrictions are having.

The government has no right to ban it's own citizens from exiting or entering the country. What if there isn't an effective vaccine? Or the virus doesn't go away?

We can't live hiding under this blanket forever. Too much focus on cases and not on the miniscule death rate. The suffering and deaths if the world goes into goes into a full blown economic depression on the other hand....

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Jono deaths may be minuscule but hospitalisations are not and the more COVID takes up hospital beds the fewer beds there are for the rest of us with different but equally dire illnesses. The focus on deaths is a complete furphy.

10 Jul 2020

Total posts 4

@patrickk

Well what is the solution then? As I said we can't keep locking down whenever there's a spike in cases and keep our borders shut indefinitely! Quarantine those at risk and let the rest of us get on with our lives. For most it's a mild cold. I'm not scared in the slightest if I catch this virus. I'm healthy and have a good immune system. If I have to quarantine on return from overseas travel then so be it. But the choice to travel shouldn't be anyone else's but my own

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Jono the mild cold ‘for most' may be around half. The other half get quite sick with 20% in hospital. Hard to tell who is ‘at risk', half hospital folk are under 40. And still an awful lot to quarantine.

10 Jul 2020

Total posts 4

@patrickk

So 20% of the active cases in Australia now are in hospital? I have three nurses in my immediate family and they've said hospitals have never been quieter than these past 6 months.

But for the second time, will you be willing to accept these restrictions indefinitely?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Jono hospitals are quite because lockdown means people are not getting ill. As Victoria (and Texas and Florida) is showing this can get quickly out of hand and Victoria is already talking of a shortage of ICU beds. I think we will have some form of restrictions for some time yet. Much like NSW now but rave parties may be a thing of the past for the next year or so.

10 Jul 2020

Total posts 4

@patrick I accept these are your views and if you wish to follow them then that's totally up to you.

It's sad to see the airline industry on its knees and the great number of people affected by it. And those who cannot even travel for essential reasons due to further airline cancellations. I wonder if we'll look back in years to come and realise that this was the greatest overreaction of our generation? Time will tell...

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Jono I don't think it is quite that grim. Hopefully in the next few months a more reliable saliva test will emerge. Once we get to less Than one per cent false negatives (Currently 20-50% depending if there are symptoms or not), then we can have a test before leaving from wherever another one on arrival then a few days home quarantine just to be sure. One per cent of 10000 coming in a day is still one hundred. We will have to accept a few more false positives and two weeks hotel quarantine just like HK. Time in hospital will go down by a few days with the newly approved drug for the very ill.

05 Jun 2020

Total posts 32

@patrickk - "Jono hospitals are quite because lockdown means people are not getting ill." - I would be interested to know if that is based on reliable statistics or merely anecdotal musings.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Laugh it is based on press reports based on reliable statistics. COVID hospitalisations are reported by most states on most days other hospitalisation data comes from quoted reports from hospitals. Google can help here.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

...and also that elective surgery had been stopped for much of that time.

05 Jun 2020

Total posts 32

Patrickk - Thanks. I googled/searched but I can't find any reports saying that is a categorical fact, so was hoping you might remember where you read it. I want to quote it verbatim in something I am writing... .e.g."hospitals are quiet because lockdowns mean people are not getting ill".

If it's something you've only inferred from press reports you've read, I can't use it.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

SMH April 21 by Melissa Cunningham reporting a 50% drop. A very quick google.

05 Jun 2020

Total posts 32

You mean the article that says this?

Hospitals across Australia have observed a rapid decline in patient numbers of up to 50 per cent in some hospitals alongside an alarming deterioration in cardiac emergencies.

This comes after The Age revealed last week that patients were having heart attacks in their homes as they avoided hospitals amid fears they would be burdening the healthcare system, while some chronically ill people were skipping critical medical appointments.

Because that's not the same as saying "people are not getting ill because of lockdowns".

Anyway, it's ok I don't need you to google for me, I just thought you might recall your source.

Thanks all the same.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Lough add to that ABC June 13 on the drop in flu cases. Not only vaccinations and also because of lockdown meaning fewer getting ill and needing hospitals, and the lack of elective surgery will also lead to hospitals being quite which was your original question asking for my sources.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Lough the key word in you re-quote is ‘alongside' which is quite different to ‘due to'.

24 Jun 2020

Total posts 1

"There's been many opportunities for people to return. If they're choosing to do so now they've obviously delayed that decision for a period.", Mr Morrison stated.

What a ridiculous statement. There are many legitimate reasons that people, who are situated in various locations all around the world, have been unable to return, and our PM obviously can't fathom these reasons.

What he is also failing to understand is that many countries overseas have just recently opened up their borders to incoming flights from Doha and Dubai, and this has made the task of getting to the other side of the world through these stopover airports practically impossible. Now, the decision to limit arrivals will likely affect the amount of departures. Thus people who are only now getting the chance to return home (with Qatar Airways for instance) might find their flights cancelled in the days ahead.

08 Jul 2020

Total posts 9

Spot on RyanB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Aug 2014

Total posts 32

For a myriad of reasons Australian citizens and permanent residents may need or want to come home now rather than a few months back.

However many there are, they have the right to enter Australia. Quotas make no sense, but governments need to work their numbers to accommodate however many arrive. If the government requires quarantine then the government pays.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

I ABN they have a right to enter Australia when theirs and others safety can be guaranteed. By air it just doesn't work. They can come by their own boat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Aug 2014

Total posts 32

just add to my own words.

When I say the government pays, this could be to a certain standard / cost say equivalent of a good 3 star hotel.
I would have no objection to people contributing on top to stay in fancier hotels. Of course any hotel offering would need to be certified and staffed with the right qualified people.
The whole thing is primarily a national public health initiative, so should be funded by the Commonwealth Health department. Do it through Medicare, with a defined amount for "bulk billing" and then individuals pay the difference.

08 Jul 2020

Total posts 9

Agree 100% - the goalposts keep shuffling around on this issue.

30 Nov 2017

Total posts 4

I have a family member currently in hotel quarantine and has mentioned the experience has been well managed and people's well-being are very much being taken care of. If the respective state governments wish to recover their costs at a reasonable level then so be it. Putting a temporary cap so they concentrate on other matters given the situation in Melbourne makes sense. Ok sure it doesn't work for everyone but it's the current situation and if people are not prepared to put themselves out then how is that's anyone's fault but their own.

Qantas

02 May 2016

Total posts 56

@fadz but it doesn't make any sense. Our cities can handle 100,000's of visitors for F1 Grand Prix, Grand Finals, AUST Open etc etc but it can't handle 6500 returning Australians...across all our capitals, just doesn't make sense. There has to be 000's hotel rooms in Melbourne right now completely empty during this lockdown. Let's face it, there's no tracing to do, you're in quarantine lockdown, and tested twice........and while all the reports are of very good support and standards in quarantine, at a user pays level it still makes no sense to put these limits in place.

Not worried about the quarantine....$4620 or my daughters family...i'm worried about the flights. Son in law sacked in June because of covid in Saudi, no repatriation flights, flights out of saudi being cancelled, now flights from dubai...one 777 per week being halved, constantly cancelled anyway, family will be sent to detention because flights not available...disgrace to close borders to australians...PM goes on holidays...and blames the states, it is utterly reprehensible.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 72

I feel for your son in law and hope that he can find a quick and safe way back ASAP. His situation is exactly the problem in government putting in arbitrary and ill thought out caps that fail to account for the real world.

As an Australian citizen he should have the right to return to his home

AMR
AMR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2014

Total posts 8

There is a need to clear up one important point.

The bulk of international arrivals are FOREIGN nationals NOT Australian citizens nor Australian permanent residents (both groups with a large number of dual-Nationals within them btw).

Under the so-called International border closure there are 3 groups allowed in:

# Australian citizens

# Australian permanent residents

# close relations of the above 2 groups.

As detailed in the Immigration website, close relations = mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, partners (& their dependents).

Typically each flight has 60%+ foreign nationals (close relations) on board since mid-April. Only the NT stamped down on this rort & announced a 1-week period before all international arrivals would have to pay the full cost of quarantine.

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

Wrong. Only immediately family members may be approved to arrive without an exemption. This is defined as a spouse, de facto partner, dependent child or legal guardian ONLY.

Source:

https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/immediate-family-australian-citizen-or-permanent-resident#toc-2

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 3

Hey everyone,

I am a dual citizen of Australia and Germany. I've been living in Australia over the past few years but grew up in Germany and always intended to go back to Germany to live and especially go to university there. Through Covid-19 I am now out of a job in Australia and intending to start university in Germany in October. I am therefor NOT planning to come back to Australia any time soon (at least 5 - 10 years). My bachelors degree is a minimum of three years.

I'm really worried I won't get an exemption and won't be able to study and leave. Does anyone have experience with a similar situation? If so any tipps on supporting documents etc?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

The supporting documents should be the enrolment confirmation including receipts for any fees paid, as well as your German passport. Any sponsorship letters and proof of German residence, rental agreements, utility bills, etc. I think you get the idea, the more the merrier. Need to show you need to go or you'll be severely disadvantaged.

05 Jun 2020

Total posts 32

Crsbe - On the surface yours sounds like it should be an easy one for them to approve. Having said that, I agree with Patrickk's comment re providing as much evidence as possible to demonstrate a life and opportunities waiting for you there.

I've created a petition to bring attention to the plight of people in your position (and mine).

https://www.change.org/p/citizens-should-be-allowed-to-leave-australia-without-requiring-permission

Please sign and share if you agree. Thanks and best of luck.

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

Book your flights. Send your belongings (if applicable). Show you've given up your lease/home in Australia and ideally have evidence of your accommodation in Germany. Act as though you have the exemption. Then submit the exemption with all these documents. Explain this is a permanent relocation. They likely won't respond until just before the travel date.

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 41

If they are going to put a 4,000 cap, at least consider a reservation system for the hotel quarantine and align it with the incoming available flight schedule. Make a deposit payable at the time of the reservation and deduct it from the final bill at the end of the 14 day stay. At least people could plan their return dates accordingly.

08 Jul 2020

Total posts 9

cxflyer - Are you currently overseas trying to return?

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 41

No. I know of people overseas whose employment/secondment is about to wrap up and they are commenting on the potential lucky dip by the day or weeks of securing a seat back home.

30 Jun 2020

Total posts 6

Spot on, but no one in the government or bureaucracy is thinking like this nor capble of managing it. Its the Immigration Dept managing extended families of PR holders that hold sway.

I think the airlines need to take the lead.

France, Greece and other EU countrues are open to Aussies without qyarantine!!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Durieu the reason they don’t require quarantine from Australia is that their caseload is so high the off chance of an Aussie adding won’t make a difference. The reverse is a much bigger deal. Those with high caseloads welcome tourists et al from places of much lower caseloads the reverse is the exact opposite.

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

I feel desperate! I just want to go home and see my mom and the rest of my family! It does not seem to be enough to get an exemption! I became PR in October last year. In January I booked tickets for June to go in my country, but of course it was cancelled. Since then, things are only getting worse, and I can't find a good enough reason to apply.... In February 2019 I had surgery in my country, and I was thinking to use that for my exemption. I definitely need to go there for a checkup and do all the findings again! But I know, still not enough... so so hard time for everyone

08 Jul 2020

Total posts 9

outthere1000 - I certainly empathise with your situation, saddening that many Australians on this and other forums related to this subject, probably from the the comfort of their own lounge chair and familiar surroundings, choose to make throw away comments and judgements without assessing the facts. More disturbing is young Scotty weighing in, suggesting those returning have had "many opportunities" are "choosing" to return, have "obviously delayed" therefore it's "completely understandable" to have to pay for quarantine, adds volume to the negativity towards those currently STUCK in another country, in our case turning a one month holiday into a 3+ month nightmare. Information regarding global airport closures, ours being Nairobi, is not difficult to find on a google search. Having paid tax in Australia for a combined 61 years between my wife and myself, deciding on OUR behalf to spend OUR depleted funds in a hotel, on a further 2 weeks of time theft, in an alleged democracy is a disgrace...SHAME,SHAME,SHAME

07 May 2020

Total posts 39

Mr Morrison certainly knows how to kick someone when they are down. He is happy to pay out extraordinary amounts to keep zombie workers on the Jobkeeper program. Yet he has no understanding how difficult it has been for some people to actually get back to Australia over the past few months. Now he wants to kick us in the head too by making us pay for quarantine. So much for the "we are all in this together." Morrison and his entourage fly around wherever they want, whenever they want and never have to pay a cent. He is so NOT into the togetherness by a long shot. People, do not forget this. The establishment and their money and their government have forgotten who pays their big fat salaries. No wonder so many people don't care anymore about the "rules" to protect the fat cats and privileged from the possibility of dying. We are all gonna die at some time and Covid is gonna take some of us. No matter what you think. It's a pandemic and ultimately you can't escape the grim reaper when he visits. You may escape, you may not. It's now "survival of the fittest".

07 May 2020

Total posts 39

....and I forgot to mention that the privileged Diplomats, being government ministers, etc, are exempt from all the regulations and health orders. So much for the crap..."we are all in this together".

Qantas

02 May 2016

Total posts 56

@goRobin....agree completely, but you only have to read the various blogs across most media and the masses in Australia just dont get the complexity of this, so politically it's a winner decision for ScoMo. Many of us living overseas take the best of Australia onto the global stage in business and education, and is in many cases why Australia has the global reputation it does to punch well above its weight. Most of us would fit into 1 of 3 categories

1) Tourists.....most would have long returned home by now, if they didn't, agree with most, shame on them.....ample flights and options were provided for them to get back as soon as Covid started

2) Australians living abroad wanting to visit home - family issues, deaths, funerals, etc....can be really tough, but probably this decision will make these trips more costly, but in this Covid environment one must question whether they really need to be made, especially if your coming from high case countries, in these cases you are really a visitor not a returning citizen

3) Australians living abroad trying to move home - this is the most complex and usually can't be done in a handful of months, selling homes, mortgages, leases, schooling, pets, cars, taxes, jobs etc.....very complex and these are the people and families hardest hit by this, as in many cases it's hard to plan flights etc until all these things are done. These are citizens legitimately returning to their home in Australia

And of course the media doesn't report this, the media just puts everyone in the same bucket because it makes a great story and leads the masses to feel that the govt has paid enough, We had ample time to get home and we expats and others have some form of entitlement, maybe it's the tall poppy syndrome....but overall it's quite sad really.

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 35

I'm calling this the Tall Poppy Surcharge

There are also those of us who are here who have dual citizenship. Half our family here in Australia and half back home wherever that is - the UK for me. I have always gone back to the Uk every year to do my share of caring for my elderly parents. This year my dad is 87 and desperately needing my support for a period of time. I had a job lined up so that I could go and stay for a while. But how do I go when I don't know whether I will then be able to return here to my autistic son who also needs me for some of the year. For many of us life is not just in one place. There are many many complex situations like this for people. To keep me and others here against our will is actually imprisonment. I feel sick when I speak with my friends and relatives who are all able to move around Europe freely and Australia has backed itself into this hysterical fear fuelled isolation madness. Im not really sure how self righteously judging others benefits some of the people on this forum.

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

I don't want any payments from the government (Jobkeeper, Jobseeker...) just give me back my freedom!

05 Jan 2018

Total posts 37

seems like a clear split amongst the commentators on the page. on one side: the govt says and you should do it crowd. on the other: we're citizens not subjects crowd. Interesting.

27 Aug 2020

Total posts 2

Hi everyone! I'm currently stuck overseas after leaving the country with valid compassionate reason exemption. Multiple tickets got cancelled. I heard there is a class action being prepared against the flight caps as unconstitutional. Does anyone know anything here? Can't find anything online. Would like to join the action.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 924

Lishka there is a Facebook page called CV-19 class action for caps for Aussies or some such but I don’t think they have engaged lawyers or anything. Many other countries have caps etc so it will be interesting if anybody takes it on.

27 Aug 2020

Total posts 2

Thank you! I joined the group. 


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Australia to impose '4,000 per week' cap on inbound passengers