Special emergency flight with nearly 200 Australians on board who have been dramatically evacuated from Southeast Asia is finally landing
- Australians stranded in Cambodia eventually arrived in Sydney after a special flight
- The flight was arranged after the Cambodian Prime Minister imposed restrictions
- Passengers are taken by bus to hotels, where they have to isolate for 14 days
- Some passengers have been trying to leave the Southeast Asian country for weeks
- Read more about how you can help people affected by COVID
Nearly 200 Australians stranded in Cambodia have finally arrived home after a special flight was organized prior to the coronavirus closings.
The Australian Embassy in Cambodia helped arrange the flight that landed in Sydney on Monday morning.
Some passengers had been trying to get out of the country for weeks, but many flights from Cambodia were repeatedly canceled.
Everyone on board is taken to hotels near Sydney where they have to isolate for 14 days to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
Australians have landed in Sydney after a grace flight from Cambodia was organized prior to closings in the Southeast Asian country
The desperate flight was organized amid growing concerns about the well-being of Australians trapped in the Southeast Asian country after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen imposed cross-border restrictions on travel between provinces.
A spokesman for the Australian Embassy in Cambodia told AAP that there were 164 Australian nationals, plus 20 permanent residents and family members who boarded the flight because mainstream commercial options “ dried up quickly. ”
“That’s why we decided to facilitate this one-time scheduled flight to a country of transit, which would then connect to a scheduled flight with the same plane to Sydney,” it said.
“Passengers paid for economy and business seats.”
Cambodia has been criticized for its slow response to the coronavirus pandemic, but attitudes have recently hardened and Prime Minister Hun Sen canceled annual Khmer New Year celebrations on Tuesday early in the week.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 6.325
New South Wales: 2854
South Australia: 429
Western Australia: 517
Australian Capital Territory: 102
Northern Territory: 28
TOTAL CASES: 6.325
Earlier in the week, heavy travel restrictions were also imposed between counties, instilling a sense of urgency for the flight, with Australians living in the countryside taking a quick trip to the capital to avoid being locked out of the airport.
The embassy said it has “taken a lot of work to make this possible” in “challenging circumstances”, and that it would also help ease pressure on Cambodia’s health care system, which Australia continues to support through its aid program.
“Great to have been able to help Aussies reconnect with loved ones back home through this flight,” said Ambassador Pablo Kang on his Twitter feed.
“We thank everyone involved, including the government, for their help and our passengers for their patience and understanding.”