Asia & Pacific

Western Australia Premier Calls Overseas Travel for Funerals ‘Non-Essential’

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Western Australia (WA) Premier Mark McGowan said on Monday that Australians should not be allowed to fly overseas even for family emergencies like funerals.

“You can study here, you can get married here, Australians here are missing funerals … they are non-essential and we need to stop this sort of international travel for those sorts of purposes”, he said as quoted by 9News.

According to the premier, two recent COVID-19 cases that forced a three-day lockdown in the country came from a man who had travelled to India for his wedding.

“I’d just urge the Commonwealth to stop letting people leave this country to go to weddings or other things overseas”, McGowan said.

In line with recent COVID-19 restrictions in Australia, leaving the country in order to attend a wedding is not allowed.

Banksy's Girl with a Pierced Eardrum mural has been given a face mask in a nod to the coronavirus pandemic as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Bristol, England, Wednesday April 22, 2020

McGowan further criticised Australia’s hotel quarantine system after the man who had been to India was diagnosed with the virus after having left hotel quarantine. The premier noted that most hotels used for quarantine purposes were not built for this.

Australia closed its international borders in 2020 in an attempt to curb imports of COVID-19 cases. Permission to leave the country can only be granted for work, medical treatment, on compassionate or humanitarian grounds, in national interest or for a “compelling reason” for more than three months.

A mandatory hotel quarantine is in place for everyone returning to the country.

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