A plane carrying 170 Irish citizens has taken off from Perth, Australia this afternoon and should arrive in Ireland tomorrow after stopping off in the UK.
An Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the departure was acheved by the efforts and determination of the Embassy and Consulates in Australia, working with Qantas – the largest airline in the country.
Many Irish citizens expressed their desire to return home from Australia in recent days, after the country went into lockdown.
The government has said it is doing everything it can to assist all citizens abroad who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, Minister Coveney said: “Our consular team at HQ continues their efforts to assist all our citizens around the world who have been affected by the coronavirus and are looking to come home.
“We are working on a number of options and hope to facilitate further flights in the coming days.”
Last week, East Galway TD Ciaran Cannon called on all Irish citizens abroad to register their details with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
He said that during these challenging times, it’s important that the department is aware of the location of all Irish citizens living or travelling abroad.
Minister Cannon called on people in Galway to ensure when speaking with loved ones and friends abroad to make them aware that Irish citizens overseas are encouraged to register their contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“This is only available outside the Common Travel Area, i.e. Ireland/Great Britain and when someone registers with the Department, it will ensure that there is a record of their details.
“The information will allow us to contact you, and provide assistance, if necessary and registration is voluntary at https://citizensregistration.dfa.ie/,” he said.