Australia granted 150k travel exemptions

Australia has granted more than 150,000 travel exemptions allowing people to leave the country during the coronavirus international border closure.

The federal government shut down overseas travel aside from exceptional circumstances in March last year as the disease begun to sweep the world.

In response to a question from Labor frontbencher Katy Gallagher, the Home Affairs Department said 150,687 outward travel requests were approved between March 25 last year and May 17 this year.

Between August and May, China was the leading destination with 13,691 exemptions ahead of the United Kingdom, which had 11,827, and India on 11,716.

The United States (9847), New Zealand (5341) and Pakistan (4944) were next on the leaderboard.

Individuals are allowed to submit multiple requests, meaning the figures don’t represent the number of individuals granted exemptions.

Exceptional circumstances include compassionate grounds, work or study, and travel to provide help with the pandemic abroad.

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