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Aussie stranded overseas since April says he’s not a ‘straggler’, he just can’t get home

Article image for Aussie stranded overseas since April says he’s not a ‘straggler’, he just can’t get home

An Australian man who has been stranded in Northern Ireland since April has fired back at suggestions travellers who have not returned home yet are “stragglers”.

It comes after South Australian Premier Stephen Marshall yesterday announced “straggler” travellers will have to pay for hotel quarantine in Adelaide from Saturday.

Matthew O’Neil says it’s “pretty rough” that he and his family, who left the country in early March, are being demonised.

The family have been trying to get home since April 8.

“That flight was cancelled because the whole airline industry went down,” he told Neil Mitchell.

Mr O’Neil has since booked another six flights back to Australia for his family, but they have all been cancelled.

“There’s nothing available to Brisbane or Sydney until September. I managed to fluke a flight into Melbourne for the 10th of August, if they’re still flying at that stage,” he said.

He said he doesn’t think the majority of returning travellers should have to pay for hotel quarantine.

“Everyone’s situation is different … but I don’t see the difference in us returning in April, in May, or in returning in August for quarantine. It would still be the same cost to the government.”

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