Thousands of Australians desperate to get back to the lives overseas are risking huge fines and possible imprisonment by using the Trans-Tasman travel bubble as an escape route.
One of the first Aussies to test the loophole was art teacher Tim Byrnes who flew to Auckland last week and caught a flight to Istanbul on Friday with plans to travel on to Russia to return to his job and girlfriend in Moscow, Nine Newspapers reported.
“I’ve escaped. I get to go back to my life,” Mr Byrnes, who had been living in Russia since 2016 before becoming stranded in Australia by the pandemic, said.
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Many other Aussies are reportedly looking at the strategy as a way of travelling overseas and being reunited with their families after more than 12 months of forced separation.
Border officials in Australia and New Zealand have confirmed the loophole does exist, according to the Australian Financial Review, allowing travellers to book flights to a third country – although it does come with its own risks.
Australians looking to use New Zealand as a port to go overseas could be slapped with a massive fine or even be jailed under newly changed laws…