Seek easier access to Australia for fully vaccinated parents of Australian residents, who supply negative Covid tests. These parents should to be able to enter Australia without needing a tourist visa or hotel quarantine.
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There is currently no timeframe for when Australia will be opened to UK residents, and family reunion is not mentioned in the Australian Government's most recent plan. The UK Government should seek allowances for vaccinated parents of Australian residents.
Current restrictions are damaging the mental health of British nationals in Australia needing support of close family; new mothers, the unwell & dying.
Friday 24th September 2021
The government recognises the disruption to international travel, caused by the pandemic, but as a sovereign state Australia has the right to determine its own border policy.
Australia’s borders are currently closed to most arrivals, in line with their entry regulations.
Australia closed its international borders in March 2020, to reduce the risk of importing Covid-19 infections. Only Australian citizens and returning permanent residents, and their immediate family members, are permitted to enter Australia until further notice. Additionally, caps on arrival numbers related to hotel quarantine capacity mean that some of those eligible to return are unable to do so when they wish.
There are some, limited exemptions to these rules. Travellers who meet exemption criteria, or have a compassionate or compelling reason to enter Australia, can apply for such an exemption at https://travel-exemptions.homeaffairs.gov.au/tep
The UK government recognises the difficulties that this causes for families separated across continents, including British nationals. We have raised these challenges with the Australian authorities at both federal and state level. As a sovereign state, Australia has the right to determine who can enter, and the conditions under which entry may be granted. These entry requirements are reflected in the FCDO Travel Advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/australia/entry-requirements
We understand the disappointment faced by parents unable see their children, and the desire for a travel corridor to facilitate travel. Decisions on entry into Australia, however, remain the prerogative of the Government of Australia alone and include deciding who constitutes an immediate family member for permitted entry. As these decisions are entwined with Australia’s careful phased exit from Covid-19 restrictions, we anticipate the current approach to continue for some time. We will continue to review and update the Travel Advice on www.gov.uk as information changes.
While it is not in the UK Government’s control how Australia manages its borders, we will bring this petition to the attention of the Australian Government. We will continue to work with Australia on access to vaccines and share our knowledge in combatting Covid-19. On 3 September we announced that we will send 4 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to Australia to help accelerate their vaccination programme. This should help bring forward the date by which Australia will have vaccinated 80% of its population, the threshold in its 6 August “National Plan to Transition” at which point international travel, with home quarantine, may resume
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office