‘Really frustrating!’ UK expats in Australia unable to visit family due to strict rules

Australia travel rules changes discussed by Calder

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British expats who have established a life in Australia but are not permanent residents feel stuck in the country. They are frightened to leave in case they are not allowed back into Australia.

Harry Dickinson-Perry, 33, lives in Melbourne but is originally from south west London and is desperate to visit his family. 

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, disappointed Harry when he only reopened the borders to citizens and permanent residents. 

Harry told the i: “What about those people who stayed in the country with no financial support and were able to work and keep a roof over their head?

“I don’t care about going to the pub anymore or being able to go and sit in a restaurant. I just want to sit on my nan’s lounge and have a cup of tea.

“But I don’t want to go and do that and give up five years of my life and an awful lot of money.

“If I could go home, it would be great but it wouldn’t be the most relaxing trip. I’d be looking at the news every day wondering if something would happen and everything would be shut down again.” 

Rosie Hallam has lived in Melbourne for nearly four years and works in recruitment in the city. 

She had booked a trip to visit her family for Christmas in the UK but fears if she goes she won’t be allowed back into Australia.

The recruitment worker lives with her Australian partner and is a temporary citizen in the country. 

She said: “It’s really frustrating for me. I’m going to have to watch other people be reunited with their families and temporary residents and sort of be sidelined.” 

Australian citizen Kelsey May, has been separated from her British partner Jack for more than 18 months. 

She returned to Australia from London in March 2020 but her partner stayed in the UK as his father is unwell. 

She told the i: “We had 24 hours to decide what to do. By all means the news from New South Wales is terrific and extremely exciting and relieving for many – one of whom is me who hasn’t seen my sister in over two years and my partner in over 18 months – but many are understandably waiting to see how it works.

“It’s the nitty-gritty details we are waiting for while we navigate this new system of booking remotely affordable flights that actually have a chance of flying.”

Australia has some of the strictest Covid laws in the world, with internal borders in place between states.

Sydney has recently finished a 107 day lockdown and citizens will only be allowed to travel internationally on November 1. 

Only double-vaccinated Australian citizens will be able to travel abroad on November 1 and no information has been given on when foreign tourists will be allowed back. 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 30 percent of people living in Australia were born overseas. 

This makes the international travel rules particularly hard, as so many people in Australia have family abroad they are unable to visit. 

Different states across Australia have varying travel restrictions and Western Australia is unlikely to resume international travel until next year.

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