Huge push for grandparents and parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents to be granted exemptions to enter Australia
- Australians have been banned from leaving the country since March 2020
- Their foreign parents and grandparents are not allowed to enter Australia
- A petition has been launched to allow grandparents and parents to enter
A petition has been launched to allow the foreign grandparents and parents of Australians into the country to visit their loved ones.
Under the Covid travel ban, only a spouse, de facto partner, child or legal guardian of an Australian citizen or permanent resident can enter via hotel quarantine.
Australians have been banned from leaving the country since March 2020 meaning tens of thousands of citizens and permanent residents have been unable to see their parents for more than a year.
A petition has been launched to allow the foreign grandparents and parents of Australians into the country to visit their loved ones. Pictured: A family re-union at Sydney Airport
A petition to parliament, which has gained more than 9,000 signatures, requests that parents and grandparents be included as immediate family and let into the country.
According to the 2016 census, half of Australians were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas.
The petition, started by Stacey Johnson, states: ‘Parents are essential and connection with family is equally as important to migrants as it is to families living in Australia.
‘Australians have not seen their parents for a significant amount of time due to the travel ban and a strict exemption criteria which prevents people from obtaining exemptions unless they have a compelling reason.
‘Covid-19 has impacted many Australians, however, being apart from parents for an extended period of time without an indication of when they will be reunited puts unrealistic expectations on those desperate to see family.
‘This has had a profound impact, mental health has significantly declined, children have not met grandparents, people have had to give up work due to limited support and families are having to re-evaluate their lives in Australia and have had to leave despite being here for many years.’
A woman arriving from New Zealand, right, is hugged by her stepmother at Sydney Airport
Unlike other parliaments, the Australian parliament does not have a signature threshold at which petitions must be considered.
The government is currently seeking to restrict rather than expand the number of people entering Australia as the virus rages around the world.
Scott Morrison last week cut the number of flights from India by 30 per cent and is expected to on Tuesday halt all commercial flights.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 3.1 million people worldwide out of at least 147 million infected.
New case numbers have been rising for nine weeks straight, with almost as many cases globally last week as in the first five months of the pandemic.
Relatives and family members carry the dead body of a Covid-19 victim for a cremation at Nigambodh Ghat Crematorium, on the banks of the Yamuna river in New Delhi, India