A Dublin man trapped in Melbourne trying to get home finally managed to get a flight - at a cost of €2,500.
Fionn Barron (21), from Terenure, was one of the many Irish people finding it a struggle to get a comm- ercial flight out of Austra- lia, with options limited during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
His sister, Rua Barron (23), told the Herald that Fionn was in Australia with a working visa for the year, but decided to cut the trip short and come home.
He travelled from Brisbane to Melbourne and had been due to catch a connecting flight via Abu Dhabi to Dublin, but non-UAE citizens were unable to board.
Fionn had to leave the airport and stay with a friend while trying to find another flight out.
He finally managed to get a flight with Air France so he could begin the long journey home.
"He's leaving Melbourne for Shanghai, on to Charles de Gaulle in Paris and from there to Dublin," said Rua.
"We're expecting him home tomorrow."
However, she pointed out there are many more in the same boat trying to get home, but options have diminished as more restrictions have come into place.
On its website yesterday, Emirates airline said that "as per the UAE government's directive", it will temporarily suspend all passenger services from today.
"We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers and travellers. These measures are in place to contain the spread of Covid-19, and we hope to resume services as soon as feasible," it said.
The UAE previously announced that, from March 19, holders of valid visas would no longer be allowed to enter or re-enter the group of emirates.
Restriction will stay in place until at least April 2.
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs told the Herald: "We are trying to give all possible assistance that we can. We would encourage people to keep in touch with us, register with us.
"If you are in the UAE, get in touch with our embassy there - we have an embassy in Abu Dhabi."
He said the consulates in Sydney and Canberra are in touch with a lot of people, and the helpline in Dublin has been dealing with many calls as well.
The department's advice to people has been that if they think they need to come home, then do so immediately.
A group of Irish doctors who quit their jobs to return home from Australia also reported difficulties finding commercial flights back on Monday.
Issues such as flight cancellations or lack of available bookings are among the issues that have emerged in recent days.