Travel on hold: Australia extends border closures until mid-June

with No Comments

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced an extension of the country’s human biosecurity period, which means Australia’s borders remain shut. The news is a blow for South Africans who have not been able to travel to the country since March 2020.

The country activated its human biosecurity emergency period, regulated under the Biosecurity Act 2015, in March 2020. The Act prescribes the measures that must be put in place to mitigate the spread of coronavirus throughout Australia. National border closure is among them.

AUSTRALIA CLOSES BORDERS FOR ANOTHER THREE MONTHS

Australian borders have been closed since March 2020. The latest extension of the border closure and travel ban on Australians travelling outside of their home country is effective until 17 June.

In two weeks’ time, Australians will have been unable to travel out of their own country for one year.

CLOSED BORDERS AFFECT SOUTH AFRICANS

Australia’s health ministry announced the extension of the border closure on Tuesday.

It comes as bad news for many South Africans, who have also been unable to visit the Land Downunder for nearly one year. Australia is the home to the second largest number of South African expats after the United Kingdom.  

“This is so annoying. I am desperate to visit my daughter in Perth and to see my new grandchild,” Johannesburg-based Carol Jones lamented when hearing she would not be able to travel to Perth until June.

Family visits still on hold

Many South Africans eagerly await the reopening of Australian borders. The extended border closure has resulted in many South Africans in both countries having to put off family visits, emigration plans or holidays.

“I need to get back to Johannesburg to sort out some personal affairs. The extended border closure is wreaking havoc on my life here as I cannot tie up things [in SA],” SA immigrant Sue Dreyer said.

“Perth-based immigrant Jane Reese said: “I was so looking forward to coming back to South Africa in June. I miss my friends and family. I hope I can get there by October.”

ALSO READ:

Direct flight options between SA and Australia on hold until late 2021

South Africans still among top 10 on Australia’s migration list

DMCA.com Protection Status

 

Original Article Posted on The South African