One of the benefits Australia does have in these crazy COVID times is that it is an island continent. The only way you can arrive is by boat or plane. So anytime you want to close the border to international travellers, all you need to do is stop the ships and aircraft from coming.
Closing the borders, along with two weeks of mandatory quarantine for all arrivals, has been a significant contributor to reducing coronavirus infections in Australia. To achieve this, the government has imposed a cap on arrivals, and as a consequence, the number of arrivals to Australia has dropped from 210,000 a week to 6,000, a drop of 97%.
For Australians wanting to return home, the cap on arrivals and the cost of mandatory quarantine can be a challenge. There are long waits overseas to get on a flight, and the cost of quarantine is around $3,000. Stories of hardship for those who cannot secure a seat on a plane, or afford the quarantine when they arrive, is far too common.
With an estimated 26,000 Australians stranded overseas, more needs to be done.
Let's hope they can all get home for Christmas.