The repatriation flights facilitated by the Australian government for its stranded citizens in India resumed from today, Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said.
Ms Payne said that a flight today departed from Sydney to pick up Australian passengers in New Delhi before arriving back in Darwin on Saturday. It has also carried life-saving oxygen equipment to India to support its COVID-19 response.
Ms Payne said the passengers would have to undergo a strict quarantine to make sure they are not carrying the variant of the coronavirus first identified in India.
These passengers will quarantine at the Centre for National Resilience at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory, she said, adding all passengers would undergo PCR and Rapid Antigen Testing before they travel.
Ms Payne said this temporary pause had helped mitigate the risk of potentially higher rates of infection presenting on arrival in Australia and ensured the quarantine system was able to receive further flights.
He said: These government-facilitated flights will be focused on returning Australian citizens, residents and families who have registered with our High Commission and consular offices within India and will prioritise the most vulnerable people.
Saturday’s flight into Darwin brings the total number of government facilitated commercial flights from India to 39 returning over 6,400 Australians since March 2020.