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Statement From Australian Border Force

Statement attributed to a spokesperson from the Australian Border Force

  • The Department does not comment on individual cases.
  • The work of the Australian Border Force (ABF) has been integral to Australian Government efforts to slow the transmission of COVID-19 across our border and keep travellers and supply chains moving.
  • Decisions by the ABF Commissioner to grant exemptions for travel for compassionate and compelling circumstances must be balanced against the Government’s intent for imposing the travel ban and the health risks posed to the Australian community by international travellers.
  • Each case is unique and is considered on its own merit based on the information provided in the application, and supporting evidence must be provided.
  • These decisions are not taken lightly, but the Government’s priority is to protect the Australian community against the COVID-19 pandemic.

See the Home Affairs website for details.

  • From the 25 March 2020, Australian citizens and permanent residents usually resident in Australia need to seek a travel exemption to leave Australia. o Between 25 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, more than 11,500 Australian citizens and permanent residents have been given exemptions to depart Australia.
  • During this same period, over 3,300 Australian citizens and permanent residents have had their request to leave Australia denied.
  • To limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Australian community, from on 20th March 2020 all foreign nationals who do not meet the travel exemptions will not be allowed to enter Australia.
  • From 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, more than 56,800 requests have been received for travel exemptions to Australia. A request may cover more than one person.
  • Between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, 10,350 foreign nationals have had their inbound travel exemption request approved to travel to Australia.
  • These travel restrictions have been successful in slowing the spread of coronavirus in Australia, and were implemented on the advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

Last week The Project contacted the Department of Home Affairs requesting information about Cristina Williams’ application to travel to the United States to see her husband. A few days later the Department informed Cristina her application was approved. This is Cristina’s third application, every previous request was declined. Only Cristina is allowed to travel overseas, not her children. Mat Williams’ applications to come to Australia and quarantine at home have been denied multiple times.