Australians living outside the country now have to present a "compelling reason" for returning to the country, according to new rules passed by the country's Health Ministry.
AUSTRALIANS living outside of their country will no longer receive an automatic exemption from the ongoing international travel ban.
They’ll have to show “compelling reason” for returning home or leaving Australia.
The rule change was quietly passed by the Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt on Thursday but hasn’t been formally announced by the government, causing fear and confusion among expatriates.
Since March 2020, the Australian government has banned Australian citizens from leaving the country. An exemption was granted for those living abroad.
However, under the new rule, they will have to seek permission from the Australian Border Force.
According to Finance Minister Simon Birmingham, the rules were changed because the exemption was being abused.
“We’ve seen too many instances where people have left the country only for, in relatively short order, to put their names on the request list to come back into the country,” Birmingham said.
“And that just puts additional pressure and additional difficulties in terms of managing the finite number of places that can safely be administered for returning Australians.”
Those who traveled on repatriation flights now fear getting stranded in Australia and are confused about the government’s “compelling reason”.
Only a handful of countries, including North Korea, have similarly strict controls.
In the Philippines, incoming travelers are required to undergo 14 days of quarantine; 10 in an accredited hotel or facility, and the remaining 4 at home.
Travelers shall also undergo an RT-PCR test on the seventh day of their quarantine stay.
Tags: #Australia, #expatriates, #travelrestrictions, #Covid19