An estimated 43,000 Australians have told authorities they are trying to get back into the country – the highest since the pandemic started.
While some are trickling back in, the numbers have risen because new people are registering as wanting to return home and Aussies are requesting permission to leave and wanting to come back.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson confirmed the latest number registered with them to 9News.
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Only Australians and permanent residents, plus their immediate family, are allowed into the country – although exemptions are given such as to celebrities, sports stars and business people.
Australia only allows around 3000 people into the country a week under flight caps, with people doing hotel quarantine at around $3000 for 14 days.
Those flight caps, which were recently slashed in half, won't be raised to 6000 again until 70 per cent vaccinations are reached.
It will be removed at 80 per cent.
Australia is on track to hit that before the end of the year, which could trigger the end of other travel restrictions, as indicated in the government's pandemic exit plan.
Qantas has today indicated it plans to resume some international flights in December – but the government has not confirmed if this will be allowed.
Everybody must test negative for coronavirus before being allowed on a plane to Australia, with less than one per cent of people in hotel quarantine having the virus.
Home quarantine trials are happening in South Australia, with campaigners for stranded Australians pushing for it to be rolled out nationwide.
Aussies remain banned from leaving the country without an exemption.
People trying to get back are told to register with DFAT.
"Around 43,000 people are currently registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as being overseas and wanting to return," a spokesman said.
"This number changes regularly according to people's circumstances."
What are the flight caps?
Sydney takes the most returning Aussies per week, at a maximum 1505 per week, or 215 a day.
Brisbane and Melbourne take 500 a week at the most, plus Brisbane has capacity for 150 more.
Adelaide and Perth take 265 each.
No other cities are accepting international flights.
Contact journalist Sarah Swain: Sswain@nine.com.au