Oz PM urges travellers and expats to leave as soon as possible

Published:  7 Apr at 6 PM
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Oz government urges all on visitor or student visas to go home.

As in the rest of the world, expats, students, tourists and other visitors at present in Australia are no longer welcome due to the increase of coronavirus infections. The Australian Prime Minister is now urging all to leave as fast as is practicable, but seems to be forgetting two important facts. Firstly, ‘going home’ is almost impossible nowadays as land, air and sea borders all over the world are now closed to incomers and, secondly, the majority of international flights have now been cancelled. Those still available are being gouged up to over £1,000 and more, and many of these flights are later being cancelled without refunds being given.

Local Australian media are reporting the government’s stance has been caused by incidents featuring backpackers refusing to comply with the country’s rules on social distancing. PM Scott Morrison made the government’s stance very clear, saying foreigners such as doctors and others with essential skills were welcome to stay, but everyone else should now ‘make their way home’. It has to be admitted some visitors have failed to take the threat of the pandemic seriously enough, with tourists still packing out famous Bondi Beach as if the virus didn’t exist.

Many visitors are now struggling both financially and physically to find a way to leave, but failing as yet due to the sudden massive increase in ticket prices imposed by airlines hit had by shrinking passenger numbers. Those who’d booked return flights which were cancelled are not being giving refunds, with many taking to social media for information on how to get loans. Other British expats who’re now homeless and jobless basically don’t stand a chance of a loan, and airlines aren’t answering frantic calls from stranded British visitors as well as expats attempting to leave.
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