Now that the numbers are under control, Victoria is likely to join other states and resume international flights to allow more Australians stuck overseas to return home.
While international borders remain closed, the limitation on international arrivals of Australian citizens and permanent residents has left thousands still in line to return to Australia.
- International flights to Melbourne are expected to resume in late November
- Premier Andrews confirms the resumption of the hotel quarantine program and international flights
- Special flights have been arranged from New Delhi to bring back Australians stuck in India
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews confirmed the flights Continued next month after the investigative agency released its interim report on the state’s hotel quarantine program on Nov. 6.
He confirmed the state would help ensure Australians are stranded overseas in time for Christmas. Flights to Melbourne are expected to resume in late November as soon as the state sets a new model for the hotel quarantine program based on the investigation report.
“We have to get this right and look at what’s in this report, but once we have this system in place safely and these flights can return, we and I will be very confident we can do this.” , he said.
“I think it’s probably more like the end of November than the middle, I’d think.”
“We should be able to achieve the agreed target that we agreed upon in the National Cabinet, and flights should return, people reunited with their families for Christmas,” Andrews said.
“Resume flights as soon as possible”
However, those eager to return to Melbourne say the government must act quickly.
Rohit Jasrai, a Melbourne resident, had to fly to India in August after his mother suddenly passed away.
“I didn’t come here for a vacation. My mother died and my wife and I had to come to India in August. My manager asks me when I’ll be back, ”Jasrai told SBS Hindi.
Stuck in Jalandhar, northern Punjab state, Mr Jasrai has been traveling to Delhi for the past few weeks and spending nights outside the Air India office waiting in line for tickets to be booked.
“We waited outside in the queue for four nights from 2am, hoping to book tickets. But we didn’t make it, ”he said.
Supplied by Rohit Jasrai
Mr Jasrai, who works with a security agency in Melbourne, says the Victorian government must act now to bring its citizens back instead of waiting longer.
“The cases are under control. We are ready to quarantine for 14 days and comply with all the rules.
“So many Australians are stuck in India. I fear him [Daniel Andrews] will change his mind when the numbers go up. He must resume flights as soon as possible. So many Melbourne families are stuck here.
“It’s been three months for us now. I lost my mother, it’s depressing to live in this house that has so many memories of my mother.
“I just want to go home now. I have to get back to my job, ”said Jasrai.
Victoria halted international flights after the second wave of COVID-19 cases were found to be related to leaks in the hotel quarantine program, leading to an investigation.
The final report on the hotel quarantine request in Victoria has been delayed and will now be released on December 21.
However, the interim report will be released next Friday and will include recommendations for a proposed quarantine program.
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