The Federal Government has opened a financial lifeline for some of the nearly 20,000 Australians stranded overseas while the international border is closed.
The Federal Government has opened a financial lifeline for some of the nearly 20,000 Australians stranded overseas while the international border is closed.

Emergency loans to help Aussies get back home

Vulnerable Australians stranded overseas due to the COVID border lockdown will have access to emergency loans to cover their accommodation, living expenses and air tickets home.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne has announced the Government is opening a hardship program for some of the estimated 19,000 Australians unable to get through the locked border.

The loans, which will have to be repaid on return to Australia, will only be provided to "the most vulnerable Australians overseas" with strict eligibility requirements.

The loans are intended to cover temporary accommodation and daily living expenses until they can return.

The loans are intended to cover temporary accommodation and daily living expenses until the estimated 19,000 Australians are able to travel home. Picture: AAP/Darren England
The loans are intended to cover temporary accommodation and daily living expenses until the estimated 19,000 Australians are able to travel home. Picture: AAP/Darren England

Senator Payne said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was working with airlines and other governments to help Australians return on commercial flights.

International arrivals have been capped at 3975 per week since mid-July, leaving thousands of Australians stranded overseas with commercial airlines cancelling some services and not offering alternative flights.

People are seen at the Brisbane domestic airport terminal in Brisbane, March 23, 2020. Picture: AAP/Darren England
People are seen at the Brisbane domestic airport terminal in Brisbane, March 23, 2020. Picture: AAP/Darren England

Information about how to access and apply for the loans can be found on smartraveller.gov.au while Australians overseas in need of consular assistance can register with DFAT at covid19.dfat.gov.au

Originally published as Emergency loans to help Aussies get back home


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