Sunday, June 20, 2021

Repatriation flights from India to resume tomorrow

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As the temporary travel ban between Australia and India comes to end, flights from India are expected to resume from tomorrow, 15 May.

They are expected to depart from New Delhi to Darwin, where travellers are then required to quarantine in the Howard Springs quarantine centre.

The plan forward regarding flights from India was discussed in a community forum with Multicultural NSW last evening which was attended by Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Geoff Lee, NSW Minister for Multiculturalism.

According to official figures, there are around 10,000 Australians stranded in India. These figures include over 170 unaccompanied children.

In an exclusive interview with Indian Link’s Pawan Luthra last week, Minister Hawke had confirmed that the Howard Springs quarantine facility was being expanded to accommodate more travellers.

“We have announced 1,000 new spots in Howard Springs to accommodate charter flights from India,” he stated. (The facility previous accommodated up to 850 travellers for quarantine.)

READ ALSO: ‘I watched on Facetime as a stranger cremated my Dad’

Alex Hawke
Minister Alex Hawke

Travellers from India are expected to return two negative tests, a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and a negative Rapid Antigen test, before they will be allowed to board.

Each repatriation flight from India is expected to depart with a capacity of 200 people, with a frequency of one flight every 7-9 days.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison had also confirmed that New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria had responded ‘positively’ to invitations on receiving direct repatriation flights from India over the coming weeks.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 20,000 Australians have returned on repatriation flights.

For more details on flights from India, please contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on 1300 555 135 (in Australia) or +61 262 613 305 (overseas).

READ ALSO: ‘Bring them back’: Pawan Luthra discusses #StrandedAussies on The Drum

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