400k-plus Australians have returned home

More than 400,000 Australians have returned home since the start of the coronavirus pandemic but there’s still a large number stranded overseas.

Since March, the government has supported 30,000 Australians to return home on 357 flights, including 10,000 people on 66 flights facilitated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Two special flights from London and New Delhi carrying 344 people landed in Darwin earlier in the week.

But the government has continued to come under fire for not doing more to get more than 30,000 people still trying to return home faster.

DFAT secretary Frances Adamson told Senate estimates on Wednesday more work was being done to lift quarantine caps.

“Our response has sometimes fallen short but I am extremely proud of our overseas network and the department as a whole,” she said.

“Our top priority continues to be helping Australians overseas in what is the largest consular operation in our history.”

The latest figure of Australians seeking to return from abroad has not yet been raised at the hearing.

The majority of returning Australians have done so without government help.

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