I’m living in the trendy Inner West of the city in Sydney, Australia, with my partner. And yes, we are affected by CoVid-19, Australia is currently on Level 3 lock-down.
For the last year and a half in Sydney, we have been house sitting full-time and we had a few house sits booked in advance until end of May 2020, in popular beach side suburbs such as Neutral Bay, Bondi and Maroubra.
I also had a temp admin job at Sydney University to supplement my online work.
Then when the virus pandemic hit in March, I lost my job, we had to immediately move out of our current sit, (homeowners had to cut their trip short and return home to quarantine), and one by one, our booked house sits cancelled.
We found ourselves in Airbnb’s that were expensive, unclean and had very high foot traffic – including incoming travellers – leaving us feeling like we were exposed to potential germs. So we frantically searched for something more stable and found a spare room to move into – a connection of a homeowner we house sat for.
However we have no jobs, no income and we aren’t entitled to any financial support from the Australian government, as I’m on a partner visa and Grant is here as a New Zealand citizen.
Sydney is affected by the corona-virus Covid-19 pandemic, our state NSW has the highest number of infections and highest death rates in the country. Although in comparison to other countries, we’re doing pretty well.
Sydney is at Level 3 lock-down. So all pubs, restaurants, casinos, nightclubs, cinemas, entertainment venues, banks, galleries, museums, libraries, swimming pools, gyms, boot camps and indoor sport venues, public playgrounds, outside gyms and skate-parks, outdoor & indoor markets, places of worship, most schools and colleges, and non-essential shops are closed indefinitely.
Supermarkets, pharmacies and utility stores are open, we can still get takeaway coffee and food, some malls are open with things like Kmart and Target open. And we are able to walk around or exercise outside, use public transport and walk out in nature in parks or by rivers/lakes – but we’re told only to do it for exercise purposes.
Police officers do patrol the closed areas regularly though and are issuing fines for people loitering or hanging around in groups.
They have recently closed down a lot of the major or popular beaches in Sydney too; including Bondi, Coogee, Bronte and Maroubra.
Around mid-March, the British High Commission called for all UK citizens to return home. (We’re both UK citizens but Grant is also a dual NZ citizen).
It’s a contentious subject as the British High Commission are not helping anyone actually get home. And there are no official processes in place for when we go home. No medical checks done, no places to go self-isolate etc.
Commercial flights out of Australia have almost stopped except for Qatar Airways, who are now allowing flights to transit through Doha. Most countries won’t even let planes in to transit.
And the flights are insanely expensive due to the crisis. Which the British High Commission say isn’t their problem.
The UK have sent rescue flights to pickup citizens from Peru, India and Cambodia. But they’ve told anyone in Australia and New Zealand, not to expect help.
And the Australian government has recently announced that all temporary visa holders and sponsored workers should all leave Australia now, as we won’t be supported here during this crisis. Read the whole story on my Facebook profile.
We don’t know whether to stay in Australia (with no income or job prospects) or leave for the UK (where we have literally nowhere to stay) and also no income. And I just want to go see my Nan, she’s so alone now because of this forced self-isolation.
So currently we are exploring options (losing my shit under heavy stress), whilst rapidly running out of funds.
Updated April 14th, 2020, from Sydney, Australia.