Brit expats in Oz grateful for swift governmental response to the pandemic

Published:  24 Apr at 6 PM
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British expats who decided on Australia as their home from home can congratulate themselves for shortening the risk of infection from the coronavirus.

Whilst the WHO warns covid-91 will be endemic in humans for a long time, Australia’s swift, sensible response to the pandemic seems to be working. Today’s figures for new infections and deaths cover the entire sub continent, with just four new infections and no deaths. The curve is now heading southwards and flattening, with the result that restrictions could be lifted within a short while, making the country’s response an example many other states are now wishing they’d followed.

One difference between the Oz response to the pandemic and that of the majority of other countries affected seems to be that testing as well as tracing of carriers was prioritised early in the outbreak. Tests are free, and many thousands are still being tested every day all across the country. According to those in the know, many restrictions could be lifted as early as the end of the first week in May. For expats whose jobs and livelihoods depend on freedom of movement, the above is excellent news, as not all are able to work from home due to the requirements of their daily tasks.

Those who need to travel have found the past month a real challenge, as travel bans were instigated almost as soon as the virus began to spread. The first infected patient arrived from Guangzhou on 19th January and foreign national entry bans as well as self-isolation were put in place just six days later. For British expatriates in Australia, the government’s immediate response was a huge contrast to the chaos unfolding back in the home country, exacerbated when PM Boris Johnson was struck down by the virus.

Retired expatriates have found the social distancing rules distressing, especially as Oz citizens are a friendly, supportive part of being a foreigner in the country. The new rules were draconian, with huge fines for disobeying the letter of the law, but many thousands of lives have been saves as a result.
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