Stranded Australians’ hopes of returning by Christmas fading as numbers swell

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Sumary of Stranded Australians’ hopes of returning by Christmas fading as numbers swell:

  • The number of Australians stranded overseas has soared to 35,700, partly because government efforts to increase quarantine capacity so more people can return home have been outweighed by a surge in exemptions allowing people to leave the country..
  • Adding to their worries, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Dfat) has issued a warning that scammers, impersonating consular staff, are contacting Australians stranded overseas and trying to sell them fake tickets for government evacuation flights..
  • The opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman, Kristina Keneally, told the Guardian the growing figures meant it was unlikely the government could bring all stranded Australians home by Christmas as promised..
  • Travelling Australians returned home from around the world in record numbers at the beginning of the pandemic, but arrival caps were subsequently requested by states to ease pressure on their hotel quarantine systems..
  • Morrison government allowing rich foreigners in ahead of 28,000 stranded Australians While some airlines have halted operations to Australia, others frustrated with the caps have admitted to cancelling tickets in economy and, increasingly, business class so they can prioritise more expensive customers to remain financially viable..
  • Federal government evacuation flights from London and New Delhi to Darwin Howard Springs quarantine site allow for about 250 returned travellers a week..
  • Further capacity increases, including Hobart accepting 450 weekly arrivals, and a further 150 and 140 quarantine spaces agreed to by the Queensland and Western Australian governments respectively, are yet to become active..
  • In October, some states allowed quarantine-free arrival from New Zealand, freeing up places under existing caps….

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