The new Australian ambassador to Ireland Gary Gray has said that up to 300 Australians remain stranded here as restrictions on international arrivals continue in Australia.
Speaking on RTÉ's News at One programme, Mr Gray said that the very strict measures are "very tough on families all around the world ... particularly those who want to get home".
He said that around one person a day and up to five or six each week are assisted to return to Australia, adding that it was difficult because border closures are very hard, quarantine requirements are very strict and movement into Australia is limited by decisions made to contain spread of the disease.
Mr Gray also said the delays are due to the difficulty in aligning the availability of a seat on a flight with the availability of quarantine in Australia, along with a political decision to lift a cap to allow travel into a local area to take place.
He said it is being policed in a very tough way and this has been successful in driving re-infection rates down to as low as four or five cases in some areas.
The ambassador said Ireland's growing Covid-19 infection rates are not a factor in overall decisions and added that where possible, the Australian government is as supportive as it can be but said "it's slow, it's tough and just a trickle of people are getting back into Australia".
"It is very tough on travellers," he said, "and my heart goes out" to those who moved to Ireland before the travel caps that have followed the pandemic.
Mr Gray confirmed the Australian government will assess decisions on the international travel ban based on individual infection rates in different jurisdictions.
He said this will however take a long time and not happen in October as some thought.