The Informer: 'COVID immigrants' find their way home

'COVID immigrants' find their way home

It was comedian-activist-talking head type Russell Brand who put it quite succinctly: "You know an immigrant is just someone who used to be somewhere else?"

He went on to rail against imaginary geopolitical borders and much more but perhaps that's for another time. Today, the above quote resonates.

Although technically not "immigrants", Victorians stuck in NSW for weeks on end thanks to border restrictions have indeed seen themselves as being "from somewhere else". And now, well, soon they can go back there.

Stranded Victorians fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to return home from Greater Sydney within a week. Premier Daniel Andrews outlined the extra hoops they'd need to jump through but from September 30, there is hope for those "COVID immigrants".

They will have to isolate at home for a fortnight and authorised officers will do spot checks on returnees to ensure they abide by the rules. But they'll be home. Phew.

That news dropped on the same day Victoria reached a new daily cases record - 766 new infections. In NSW, another 1000-plus cases took the count close to 4000 in four days, while the ACT maintained its middling numbers in the teens.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr refused reveal any details on a plan for easing lockdown restrictions before the next checkpoint on Friday, October 1. But deputy chief health officer Dr Vanessa Johnston did come up with this gem: "Get tested immediately when you get symptoms. Don't pop into the shops on the way home, don't go through the drive-through."

In non-virus-related happenings, former ultra-orthodox school principal Malka Leifer will stand trial on 70 child sexual abuse charges; new data is pointing to further big employment losses; French President Emmanuel Macron snubbed Scott Morrison; and the AFL is adamant the show will go on in Perth.

Meanwhile in news that may provoke polarising reactions, members of a Tamil family in a high-profile battle to remain in Australia have been granted 12-month bridging visas, allowing them to remain in the country.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke granted visas to three of the four members of the Murugappan family. The youngest, four-year-old Tharnicaa, was not granted a visa. This means the family will not be allowed to return to Queensland or Biloela, where they previously lived.

"It means that she's under the community determination order, which effectively means that unless that changes they remain in [Western Australia] at the address designated," the family's lawyer, Carina Ford, told the ABC.

There's quite a difference between a address designated and a home - wherever that may be.

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This story 'COVID immigrants' find their way home first appeared on The Canberra Times.