Home Travel Australians living overseas spending thousands to get home for Christmas holidays EXCLUSIVE

Australians living overseas spending thousands to get home for Christmas holidays EXCLUSIVE


Some Australians living overseas are determined to get home for Christmas despite ongoing travel bans, hefty quarantine costs and threats of being bumped off expensive flights due to the global pandemic.

With hotel quarantine costing around $3000, and a complete travel ban for Australians in the country is in place until 17 December, a loophole means Aussies living overseas can come home, and leave again.
Chloe Rolland wants to get home to Perth for Christmas from London. (Supplied)

However, with more than 30,000 Aussies overseas officially registered with DFAT to say they are trying to get home for good, it is set to be a difficult return journey.

Chloe Rollond has lived in London for a year, but is planning to return to Perth to see her family for a few weeks over Christmas.

“I just want to go home and have a happy Christmas with my family to end a terrible year on a high,” the 23-year-old told 9News.

The drama teacher, who also works at landmark toy shop, Hamleys, says her flights and hotel quarantine will cost around $6000.

London is in lockdown for a month, with the rest of England. ( Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Ms Rollond is alone in London and wants to be with her family – though admits she’s dreading hotel quarantine, which will only give her limited time to see them.

“I suppose I’ll feel very relieved when all of that is done,” she said. “It will be amazing to be home with my family for Christmas,” she said.

Chloe Rolland is alone in London and wants to see her family for Christmas- despite the nightmare travel situation. (Supplied)

FROM US WINTER TO AUSSIE SUMMER

Morgan Roy is determined to get back to NSW from Chicago, USA, even though it’s set to cost him around $10,000.

The 41-year-old is able to stay for up to six weeks, as he can work in his job for an Australian drinks firm here.

If he catches his flight as planned, he’ll be out of quarantine in time for Christmas Day.

Morgan Roy, 41, is determined to get back to NSW from Chicago, USA, even though it’s set to cost him around $10,000. (Supplied)

He said escaping from the freezing Chicago winter is part of the attraction, as well as seeing his young nieces and nephews.

“Although I do travel back to Australia often it has been six years since I was there specifically for Christmas,” he told 9News.

“I am fortunate that I am able to afford the cost to do this.

“My brother has a macadamia farm up near Byron Bay so will be great to spend with my family.”

Morgan Roy, who lives in the US, wants to see his family for Christmas. (Supplied)

Australian citizens and permanent residents living overseas are allowed to into Australia if they can get a flight.

Airlines are subject to flight ‘caps’, with planes flying more than half empty.

That’s because the government is limiting the numbers so it can cope with supervising hotel quarantine.

Arrivals are sent straight to a hotel to quarantine for 14 days, at the cost of around $3000, depending on the state.

If they test negative for COVID-19, they’re allowed to leave after two weeks.

Morgan Roy wants to get back for Christmas, from a freezing Chicago winter. (Supplied)

Australian citizens or permanent residents already in Australia are not allowed to leave the country without a special exemption, an unprecedented rule in place since March.

Permission can be given by Home Affairs for essential reasons such as on compassionate grounds, in the national interest or if people want to leave for more than three months.

However, Aussies who usually live overseas can leave Australia without permission.

“Australian citizens and permanent residents who usually reside in Australia are prohibited from leaving Australia by sea or air, unless a travel exemption to leave Australia has been granted,” a Border Force spokesperson said.

“A number of travellers may already be exempt from the travel restrictions and do not need to apply for a travel exemption.”

Contact journalist Sarah Swain: Sswain@nine.com.au



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