Covid-19: Australians living abroad must now request permission to leave

Australians living abroad must now be allowed to leave the country after ‘barbaric’ rule change – as government closes ‘loophole’ to cut travel

  • Aussies living abroad must apply for a waiver to leave Australia
  • Government wants to prevent Australians from leaving the country during Covid outbreaks
  • Health Minister Greg Hunt has amended the law that came into effect on August 11 last week

Aussies living abroad will soon have to apply for a waiver to leave Australia after a visit.

Since March 2020, citizens and permanent residents have been banned from going abroad, but people who do not normally live here can leave without permission.

That will change on August 11, when updated rules will require them to apply for an exemption.

Australians living abroad will soon have to apply for a waiver to leave the country.  Pictured: Passengers at Sydney Airport in July

Australians living abroad will soon have to apply for a waiver to leave the country. Pictured: Passengers at Sydney Airport in July

The government wants to prevent Australians from leaving the country during the Covid-19 pandemic to reduce the number of people who will have to use many of the hotel quarantine system in the future.

Home Secretary Karen Andrews said: ‘This will not stop Australians who usually live outside Australia from leaving. These people will now have to apply for an exemption.

“The regime of the exemption is based on health advice and allows people to travel when essential, but is ultimately about protecting Australians from overseas Covid transmission.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt amended the law last week.

The change to the Biosecurity Act 2015 says: ‘The amendment provision will remove the automatic exemption for Australian citizens and permanent residents who habitually reside in a country other than Australia, so that an individual can no longer rely on an automatic exemption to travel abroad where they usually reside in a country other than Australia.

However, in exceptional circumstances, the Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner or an ABF employee may waive the requirement not to travel outside Australian territory to an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or operator of a departing aircraft or vessel. travel .

“The person will have to prove that he has a compelling reason to leave Australian territory.”

Travelers prepare to board a Qantas passenger plane at Sydney Airport

Travelers prepare to board a Qantas passenger plane at Sydney Airport

Travelers prepare to board a Qantas passenger plane at Sydney Airport

Australian James Turbitt, who lives in Belgium and recently returned to visit his dying mother, said the rules were “barbaric”.

“My life is abroad, my job is there, my partner is there, I just lost my mother, and now I can be denied to go back and seek comfort with my partner,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

‘She was not let in with me and now I can be denied departure? Where has this land come to?’

It’s because 16 million Australians have been locked up over outbreaks of the Delta strain of Covid-19 in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Only 20.8 percent of adults are doubly vaccinated due to a lack of supply, one of the lowest vaccination rates in the OECD’s group of 38 rich countries.

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