Australia to FINALLY reopen borders after draconian
Covid lockdown giving devastated families the chance to reunite
- 10:26, 1 Oct 2021
- Updated: 11:41, 1 Oct 2021
- Invalid Date,
AUSTRALIA has announced it will finally reopen its borders, more than 18 months after closing them in response to the Covid pandemic.
Since March 2020, the country has been subject to a series of brutal lockdowns – despite having a relatively low number of Covid cases.
But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally announced that fully-vaccinated citizens living abroad would be able to travel home from next month.
Aussie travellers won't have to quarantine at a hotel – giving back long awaited freedoms to residents and their families.
“The time has come to give Australians their life back," Morrison said.
“We're getting ready for that, and Australia will be ready for take-off, very soon.”
He added that people would be eligible to travel when their state’s vaccination rate hit 80 per cent.
Travel would not immediately be open to foreigners, but the government said it was working "towards welcoming tourists back to our shores" as airlines cautiously announced plans to restart flights.
Unvaccinated Australians will still have to complete the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine, which costs £1,600 per head.
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Since the pandemic began, Australians have been banned from leaving the country without an exceptional reason like essential work or visiting a dying relative.
As a result, devastated families have been split across continents, with an estimated 30,000 Australians stranded overseas.
Foreigners living in Australia, including thousands of Brits, have been unable to visit family back home because they would not have been allowed to re-enter Australia.
One of the hardest hit regions, Melbourne, has spent a world record 242 days in lockdown – surpassing the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires on September 23.
It has prompted furious protests across the country, with clashes in both Melbourne and Sydney – and large rallies in Brisbane and Perth.
In Melbourne, 235 people were arrested, with 193 being link to direct breaches of Covid restrictions.
Elsewhere the savage crackdown on freedoms has stopped families saying goodbye to loved ones which, in once instance, saw police prevent mourners from watching funerals from their cars.
Grieving families who parked up at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney desperately tried to catch a glimpse of their loved ones' funerals but were turned away by cops enforcing the country's strict Covid rules.
Under the current rules in New South Wales, only ten people are allowed to attend a funeral.
Devastated mourners told the Guardian that three families gathered at the cemetery, wearing face masks and practising social distancing to watch the funerals from their cars.
They said that suddenly around ten police vehicles turned up, knocked on their car windows, and instructed them to leave.
Tensions mounted as furious family members said if they could not even fulfill the Muslim traditions for their dead, then they at least wanted to watch the burials.
But cops insisted there were a "large number of attendees breaching current public health orders."
Four men were arrested during the incident.
The lockdown has also become so brutal it even drove Darko Desic – an escaped convict on the run for 30 years – to hand himself over to police after deciding life was better on the inside.
Desic was 13 months into a three-and-a-half year sentence when he sawed through his prison cell bars and escaped in the middle of the night in 1992.
But a few weeks ago he walked into a police station in Sydney and told baffled cops he wanted to go back to prison – because Australia's draconian lockdown had left him out of work and homeless.
Reports also emerged of cops even confiscating beers being delivered to those stuck indoors.
Residents of the Common Ground housing estate in Sydney complained that packages with booze in them, sent by friends and relatives, were being searched before being delivered.
One resident, an artist with the Twitter handle Ms Saffaa, said: “Hey NSW Police, Common Ground residents are wondering what happened to the alcohol and tobacco items dropped off to them last night?
“And under which powers are you allowed to confiscate them? Last time I checked these are legal to consume in this country.
“A member of our community has delivered multiple hampers of fresh food, alcohol, and cigarettes, however the alcohol and some cigarette packs have been removed.
“NSW police are systematically searching our package, mail, and our belongings and now we have items missing.”
Another resident, Robin Elhaj, said: “They are searching all bags and things coming into the building. They confiscated a series of gifts.”
Residents are allowed to receive a ration of one of the following – six beers or pre-mixed drinks, one bottle of wine, or one 375ml bottle of spirits, news.com.au reports.
5Australians would be eligible to travel again when their state’s vaccination rate hit 80%Credit: Getty
Australia’s brutal lockdown sees protesters in violent clashes with cops
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