UN committee supports right to return home for Australian Citizens

MEL_Traveller

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That data is based on a small sample size and it is for transmission - the vaccine is still very good at preventing hospitlisation and death.

So are you saying that it is ok that the government somehow found a way to bring an additional 1200 people for a tennis tournament into the country (with an allowance for 5 hours of fresh air) - but not for Australians stranded overseas?

The vaccine is excellent, but it means we have to vaccinate all vulnerable and at-risk Australians. We saw in NZ a vaccinated person caught covid. Even if there's a tiny chance of passing that on, if it got to a member of a vulnerable population before they got vaccinated there could be a serious outbreak.

The government didn't 'somehow' find a way to bring in an additional 1200 people for a tennis tournament. Tennis Australia set up a quarantine system and fully paid for it.

Some of those stranded say they can't afford the airfare home, even in economy. How do they pay for private quarantine? The AO quarantine was reported to cost around $40,000,000.
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When your booked and paid for flight is cancelled or you lose your seat on a flight that is not cancelled but there's no rhyme or reason for that bump off or you cannot find a seat months out or the only seat is upwards of $22USD return it certainly feels arbitrary.
Agree it might feel that way. But flights cancelled or people being bumped has been because caps have been cut, sometimes at short notice. Airlines have to quickly rearrange numbers on flights. The cutting of those caps was based on a reason - even if that reason was the failure of quarantine.

I don't know how true this story is but United claims one of their aircraft suffered a mechanical problem and was cancelled ex LAX. They applied to carry double the number of pax the next day but were allegedly refused permission. That sounds arbitrary as it doesn't seem to make sense!
 

hb13

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The vaccine is excellent, but it means we have to vaccinate all vulnerable and at-risk Australians. We saw in NZ a vaccinated person caught covid. Even if there's a tiny chance of passing that on, if it got to a member of a vulnerable population before they got vaccinated there could be a serious outbreak.

The government didn't 'somehow' find a way to bring in an additional 1200 people for a tennis tournament. Tennis Australia set up a quarantine system and fully paid for it.

Some of those stranded say they can't afford the airfare home, even in economy. How do they pay for private quarantine? The AO quarantine was reported to cost around $40,000,000.
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Of the almost 2 million people vaccinated in Au/NZ, you are going to use the one person who has managed to catch it as the excuse?

I agree that we should wait till all of those vulnerable are vaccinated before loosening borders - but Greg Hunt has already said once everyone in Australia is vaccinated, borders are likely to still remain closed. Are you telling me that's not arbitrary? Because if you say "well vaccines haven't been proven yet", why are people getting vaccinated? Why has Australia bought vaccines and bought 3-4 different types?

Australia has almost no Covid cases now, and borders are closed. Nothing is changing in that regard for a while, and the government is happy to keep borders closed. So can you explain to me why not just wait, till there is 1-2 years worth of data from vaccines, then select the very best two vaccines, then vaccinate everyone and open up then?
 

jakeseven7

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Of the almost 2 million people vaccinated in Au/NZ, you are going to use the one person who has managed to catch it as the excuse?

I agree that we should wait till all of those vulnerable are vaccinated before loosening borders - but Greg Hunt has already said once everyone in Australia is vaccinated, borders are likely to still remain closed. Are you telling me that's not arbitrary? Because if you say "well vaccines haven't been proven yet", why are people getting vaccinated? Why has Australia bought vaccines and bought 3-4 different types?

Australia has almost no Covid cases now, and borders are closed. Nothing is changing in that regard for a while, and the government is happy to keep borders closed. So can you explain to me why not just wait, till there is 1-2 years worth of data from vaccines, then select the very best two vaccines, then vaccinate everyone and open up then?

Don’t bother mate, there are people quite unaffected by the pandemic that are more than happy for status quo to putter along and you are just feeding the wildlife ;)
 

MEL_Traveller

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Of the almost 2 million people vaccinated in Au/NZ, you are going to use the one person who has managed to catch it as the excuse?

I agree that we should wait till all of those vulnerable are vaccinated before loosening borders - but Greg Hunt has already said once everyone in Australia is vaccinated, borders are likely to still remain closed. Are you telling me that's not arbitrary? Because if you say "well vaccines haven't been proven yet", why are people getting vaccinated? Why has Australia bought vaccines and bought 3-4 different types?

Australia has almost no Covid cases now, and borders are closed. Nothing is changing in that regard for a while, and the government is happy to keep borders closed. So can you explain to me why not just wait, till there is 1-2 years worth of data from vaccines, then select the very best two vaccines, then vaccinate everyone and open up then?

I agree. If you go back to my earlier posts I have said that once people are vaccinated, to continue to say people can't come in may be arbitrary if it's not based on sound medical advice.

The point has been that at this current point in time, the inbound border ban is probably not arbitrary.

While this thread is about inbound travel, if you have a look at outbound travel, it's perhaps a different story. Allowing non-resident permanent residents free travel to and from Australia, while banning residents leaving should be looked at. There is no reason to allow non-residents free travel, but not afford the same to residents :(
 

roogirl

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Of course the inbound ban is arbitrary! Whether or not I can get into australia is dependent on (a) my ability to pay for a business class seat (b) the relative cost of the seats OTHERS have bought on the same flight as me (c) decisions other airlines are making about how many passengers to carry on their planes from day to day and (d) whether or not I have family members who are capable of being shut up in a hotel room without access to fresh air for 14 days (which is discriminatory and also potentially a breach of human rights - not even actual prisoners are kept in those conditions). On top of that I am prevented from entering on suspicion of having covid when people with ACTUAL covid in Australia aren’t subject to the same treatment (allowed to quarantine at home). It is the very definition of arbitrary.

it is just about defensible that this arrangement was in place initially to prevent to complete closure of the border but it is utterly insane that anyone could defend this absolute nonsense 14 months into the whole show.
 

Pushka

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On top of that I am prevented from entering on suspicion of having covid when people with ACTUAL covid in Australia aren’t subject to the same treatment (allowed to quarantine at home). It is the very definition of arbitrary.
If it makes you feel better, I know at least in SA, if you are a close contact of a positive case then you are put into a Med Hotel. Last year with one outbreak, over 90 people were put in one for one case and around 1200 were required to quarantine at home as secondary contacts.
 

Seat0B

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Actually, if you read what @Seat0B actually said, it is that the government hasn't made any adjustment or improvement to HQ in over a year. And it is pretty damn close to the government simply saying 'nah, you can't come in'. The Victorian government has struggled more than anyone with their pathetic management of hotel quarantine in 2020, causing significantly more deaths than any other state. Yet, they are allowed to decide when to stop international arrivals, when to start again and also allowed to host a tennis tournament with 1200 foreign arrivals, half of which were allowed to have 5-hour long outdoor breaks!

NZ has suffered less than Aus in terms of Covid-19, yet, their residents have never been banned from leaving the country.

The fact that you sit there and defend the government over this, when there is a continually growing list of tens of thousands of Australians stuck trying to get home is beyond me, but they have had a year to fix this. And yes, as it stands, the result is an arbitrary denial of citizens exercising their right of return to Australia, because there are ways around this, and there is data and evidence to prove it.

For a start, there is solid data regarding the vaccines, which have now been in mass use since December last year. Secondly, there is data with regards to vaccine from trials that began in July last year. The vaccines work.

The Federal government has decided to sit and watch while vaccine deployment began all over the world because they were not in a rush. Then, they have completely butchered the program, after a delayed start and are no where near their targets. Then, they have decided to not set targets because of how bad it is all going for them. What's left to defend?
Hear hear @hb13!
 

MEL_Traveller

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Of course the inbound ban is arbitrary! Whether or not I can get into australia is dependent on (a) my ability to pay for a business class seat (b) the relative cost of the seats OTHERS have bought on the same flight as me (c) decisions other airlines are making about how many passengers to carry on their planes from day to day and (d) whether or not I have family members who are capable of being shut up in a hotel room without access to fresh air for 14 days (which is discriminatory and also potentially a breach of human rights - not even actual prisoners are kept in those conditions). On top of that I am prevented from entering on suspicion of having covid when people with ACTUAL covid in Australia aren’t subject to the same treatment (allowed to quarantine at home). It is the very definition of arbitrary.

it is just about defensible that this arrangement was in place initially to prevent to complete closure of the border but it is utterly insane that anyone could defend this absolute nonsense 14 months into the whole show.

The question is whether the Australian government is arbitrarily denying citizens the right to return. That would imply a ban on returning which has been made ‘on a whim’. That’s clearly not the case.

There are follow on effects... airlines have to manage the caps. But that’s not the government deciding specific individuals or classes of individual that can or can’t come home.

There are two separate issues here. One is the management of the border closures. The other is the potential legal issue of whether australia is in breach of its international obligations. The quarantine program may be a disaster, it may have been badly managed, maybe it should have been ramped up earlier. But that doesn’t automatically mean that it is an arbitrary decision to prevent people returning (within that flawed system).

The first issue you take up at the ballot box. If you want the second to be successful, I suspect people need to show evidence of the arbitrary nature... which would be more than just ‘seats are hard to come by’.
 

suze2000

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Australia has almost no Covid cases now, BECAUSE borders are closed.

There, I fixed it for you.

And you are forgetting that our economy is one of the few in the world that is pretty much back on track BECAUSE we have no covid transmission. Which gets us back to my point above.

There are two schools here: those who are heavily affected by the current border situation, and those who are only suffering because they cannot travel (outside Australia). The first group highly vocal and railing against the restrictions, the second, generally frustrated, but willing to ride it out.

But almost half a million people have actually managed to return in the last year, despite all the trouble and hassles, and it's BECAUSE the covid situation here is so good, that there are still more and more wanting to come back (and incidentally prop up our economy and RE market). The experience of other countries has shown that a free-for-all which allows covid to run rampant is a recipe for suffering, unnecessary death and economic ruin.

I have friends who are stuck OS and my husband appears to be permanently cut off from his family in England, so I'm not unsympathetic, but my solution is not a free-for-all but a massive increase in our quarantine capacity by building at least six more facilities like the one in Howard Springs. Or recommissioning disused mining camps to fulfil the same purpose. And yes, I expect people to pay for their quarantine. It will become just another travel expense, like travel insurance. If you can't afford it, you can't afford to travel outside Australia.

A practical solution instead on impotently railing against the govt and complaining about the very things that have protected us and put out economy back on the rails after the disaster last year.
 

Seat0B

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I have friends who are stuck OS and my husband appears to be permanently cut off from his family in England, so I'm not unsympathetic, but my solution is not a free-for-all but a massive increase in our quarantine capacity by building at least six more facilities like the one in Howard Springs. Or recommissioning disused mining camps to fulfil the same purpose. And yes, I expect people to pay for their quarantine. It will become just another travel expense, like travel insurance. If you can't afford it, you can't afford to travel outside Australia.
Which is pretty much what I already said, upthread at post #16.

I too am not advocating a free for all in terms of tourists, but Australians overseas should have the right to return here, no questions asked, no reason needed. That is what holding citizenship of a country means. The government's persistent failure to address this right is what is making people aggrieved. And even though a large number of people have returned, there is a significant number still registered with DFAT, plus many others who are not registered with DFAT. And yes it is a self-filling cup, as some other post on this forum mentioned, because Australians who live overseas face changing circumstances like losing their job (and thus their visa), timed visa expiry, compassionate circumstances at home. So whilst ever there are Aussies overseas, there will always be Aussies wanting to come home.

The right to leave the country freely (which I also happen to believe in) is not the topic here. There's a separate thread for that here
 

drron

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But surely there is no Government edict preventing people returning.The major problem is cost both of travel and HQ.But that cost is more due to the actions of State governments than the Commonwealth.
Though the Commonwealth should have paid to have Howard Springs upgraded after the August 2020 review of HQ. Also should have looked at alternative sites such as Learmonth which was suggested by the review.

A friend of ours came home from Spain in March.She was back here in HQ within a couple of weeks of making the decision to return.Though she did fly ANA J.
 

dajop

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If home quarantine is off the table, I'd be even happy, if they let people coming from a low risk location to pay for testing on arrival and be allowed to stay in a hotel of their choosing.

If we get an Ibis or the like, my partner and I are going to have to pay $3k each for separate rooms (as it is impossible to have two people working full time remotely on conference calls all hour of the day and night, with one desk and no closeable doors), whereas we could rent a 2BR apartment for $3K for two weeks, order in from Coles or Woolies and occassional UberEats for way less than $6K ..... Or even less than $4K if we shared a room, and we'd have 2BRs a bonus instead of a tiny hotel room.
 

mviy

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The issue with choose your own hotel is that the hotels would likely start make a condition of booking that you haven’t been overseas for 14 days and then sue you if they have to close because you didn’t disclose that.
 
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dajop

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The issue with choose your own hotel is that the hotels would likely start make a condition of booking that you haven’t been overseas for 14 days and then sue you if they have to close because you didn’t disclose that.

It would obviously have be sanctioned as coming from a low risk location etc, etc. ....
 

Pushka

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The issue with choose your own hotel is that the hotels would likely start make a condition of booking that you haven’t been overseas for 14 days and then sue you if they have to close because you didn’t disclose that.
Let alone mixing with other guests, ventilation, etc etc. I can't see this as a model that hotels would be interested in especially as Aussie tourism is picking up now. Hotel prices for business trips were low a month ago but they are rising rapidly now.
 

hb13

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There, I fixed it for you.

And you are forgetting that our economy is one of the few in the world that is pretty much back on track BECAUSE we have no covid transmission. Which gets us back to my point above.

There are two schools here: those who are heavily affected by the current border situation, and those who are only suffering because they cannot travel (outside Australia). The first group highly vocal and railing against the restrictions, the second, generally frustrated, but willing to ride it out.

But almost half a million people have actually managed to return in the last year, despite all the trouble and hassles, and it's BECAUSE the covid situation here is so good, that there are still more and more wanting to come back (and incidentally prop up our economy and RE market). The experience of other countries has shown that a free-for-all which allows covid to run rampant is a recipe for suffering, unnecessary death and economic ruin.

I have friends who are stuck OS and my husband appears to be permanently cut off from his family in England, so I'm not unsympathetic, but my solution is not a free-for-all but a massive increase in our quarantine capacity by building at least six more facilities like the one in Howard Springs. Or recommissioning disused mining camps to fulfil the same purpose. And yes, I expect people to pay for their quarantine. It will become just another travel expense, like travel insurance. If you can't afford it, you can't afford to travel outside Australia.

A practical solution instead on impotently railing against the govt and complaining about the very things that have protected us and put out economy back on the rails after the disaster last year.

I think you need to get your facts straight Suze, because no one here, including myself is actually saying we are against restrictions, or that they should "automatically disappear". Your comments about 'free for all' seem to be made up by you to give your rant some standing, but you're not actually representing what most of us have been saying.

Secondly, if you actually read some of the posts, we are rallying for the government to fix their shambolic vaccination program, which is one of the ways that will help ease restrictions, particularly for Australians who are STRANDED, with basically no money left to get back home. I know you don't care about fellow Aussies stuck with no end in sight when they can afford to get back home, but it is a responsibility that the Australian government needs to take more seriously.

Thirdly, if the majority of the population is fully vaccinated (read that I said majority, not a few million, half, or the most vulnerable) there should be no reason why fully vaccinated (using an authorised vaccine) passengers need to isolate. I think it reasonable to even test them on arrival, but if negative, and fully vaccinated, quarantine doesn't make any sense.

Finally, the economy looks good to you now, but all you have to do is actually understand what is going on in Australia and globally to know that what is happening now is simply not sustainable. Any economist would tell you that. And for every dollar the government has borrowed, and is still borrowing to support industry and jobs, this will result in higher taxes for the Australian people - yes those living in Australia.
 

hb13

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But surely there is no Government edict preventing people returning.The major problem is cost both of travel and HQ.But that cost is more due to the actions of State governments than the Commonwealth.
Though the Commonwealth should have paid to have Howard Springs upgraded after the August 2020 review of HQ. Also should have looked at alternative sites such as Learmonth which was suggested by the review.

A friend of ours came home from Spain in March.She was back here in HQ within a couple of weeks of making the decision to return.Though she did fly ANA J.

In theory it is true that people can return, but practically that is not true - and there are many horror stories to show for this.

If you have no bumps in the road however, then, as you said, the cost of travel and HQ is simply prohibitive for some - this cost alone is $7k as a minimum and rising from there.

But there are other costs that people in Australia can't seem to understand, so let me highlight them. Many people have had their flights moved, or cancelled, and that means they need to spend more time at their origin. When someone has finalised their rent for example, and they then face a delay of one, two, three or sometimes even more delay - where are they going to stay? And because they're not renting, this often means a hotel or Airbnb at short notice. If it was just two weeks delay, this can mean anywhere from an extra $1,500 to $3,000. Europe and the UK are extremely expensive when it comes to accommodation.

I haven't even mentioned the fact that two weeks confined in a room is two weeks of time lost, no matter how you spin it. Not to mention the mental and health effects of being in a room for 14 days.

As I said before, if there can be something done for 1200 foreigners for a tennis tournament, I don't think anyone seriously can say we can't do something for fellow Australians in need. That is simply ridiculous. I'm not saying, nor have I ever said just open the borders freely, but there are other ways. One of the ways we can start to ease borders is the vaccination program. Yet, no one seems to care.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I think you need to get your facts straight Suze, because no one here, including myself is actually saying we are against restrictions, or that they should "automatically disappear". Your comments about 'free for all' seem to be made up by you to give your rant some standing, but you're not actually representing what most of us have been saying.

Secondly, if you actually read some of the posts, we are rallying for the government to fix their shambolic vaccination program, which is one of the ways that will help ease restrictions, particularly for Australians who are STRANDED, with basically no money left to get back home. I know you don't care about fellow Aussies stuck with no end in sight when they can afford to get back home, but it is a responsibility that the Australian government needs to take more seriously.

Thirdly, if the majority of the population is fully vaccinated (read that I said majority, not a few million, half, or the most vulnerable) there should be no reason why fully vaccinated (using an authorised vaccine) passengers need to isolate. I think it reasonable to even test them on arrival, but if negative, and fully vaccinated, quarantine doesn't make any sense.

Finally, the economy looks good to you now, but all you have to do is actually understand what is going on in Australia and globally to know that what is happening now is simply not sustainable. Any economist would tell you that. And for every dollar the government has borrowed, and is still borrowing to support industry and jobs, this will result in higher taxes for the Australian people - yes those living in Australia.

There are government loans available to those in financial distress overseas. This includes loans for flights (ex Europe and UK is currently AUD1500 per person) and loans for emergency living expenses - AUD2000 for one person through to AUD5000 for a family of four. If you have children under 18 in your party, they may be eligible for a grant rather than a loan: COVID-19: Overseas financial assistance
 

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