Tourism

Aussie travellers left stranded, forced to spend thousands due to “antiquated” re-entry requirements

Australia’s “antiquated” re-entry requirements are causing massive problems for Aussies holidaying overseas, forcing some to fork out upwards of $15,000.

Melbourne woman Martina Cullen was forced to stay behind when her family returned to Australia on Monday following a recent holiday in Fiji.

According to the Age, Cullen tested positive for COVID-19 during the family vacation and was required to wait two weeks before she would be allowed to reenter Australia, even though she had been cleared to travel by Fijian authorities.

Cullen and her husband, Nigel Landeryou, had travelled to Fiji with their two young children for a family reunion with Landeryou’s Fijian-born mother and Australian-born father as well as his sister’s family.

They were due to return to Melbourne on 7 January, when several family members returned positive PCR tests forcing them to enter hotel quarantine until 12 January.

However, current travel restrictions in Australia require travellers to wait 14 days after the first test positive if they are “shedding” (are no longer contagious but still testing positive), which Cullen and her nephew were.

“What I wasn’t prepared for was that the Australian government have kept in place a rule that is no longer valid within Australia,” she told The Age.

“We have followed all the rules we needed to, it’s the disjunct between what happens for re-entry into Australia as opposed to internal requirements.

“The rules just haven’t caught up. I am fit to fly as far as the Fijian government is concerned.”

Despite reaching the 14-day requirement today, Cullen said she does not expect clearance to arrive before her morning flight and will likely remain in limbo at Nadi’s Gateway hotel until at least Thursday or Friday.

“The biggest thing I want to get through is that Australian families are in this predicament around the world, spending thousands of dollars on an antiquated rule that has been updated in most countries,” she said.

“It seems absolutely insane that all the rules have changed in almost every single country, but you have to continue to spend insane amounts of money rather than get home when you are completely asymptomatic and have proven that medically.”


Featured image source: iStock/Space_Cat



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