A BEECHWORTH family is in limbo in Austria after three flights home were cancelled within weeks amid the coronavirus crisis.
Bridge Road Brewers founders Ben and Maria Kraus and their children - Lilyana, 10, Maurice, 8, and Louis, 2, - planned to come home in July after a "gap year" at the foot of the Austrian Alps, where Maria grew up.
Mr Kraus said their flights booked in July, August and September had been cancelled due to the restrictions on arrivals into Australia.
He said they were now booked on a flight out of Munich on October 27.
"Last time we were two days away from putting all of our stuff onto a truck to go onto a boat to get home when our flight was cancelled," he said.
"It's frustrating not being able to get home and not being with our family and friends at Beechworth.
"But on the flipside, we're pretty lucky because we've got Maria's family here and a place to stay.
"We're in the countryside, surrounded by the mountains."
Under the plan to allow more people to return to Australia announced by the federal government on Friday, NSW, Western Australia and Queensland will be quarantining an additional 500 returned travellers a week by October 12.
The increases will be phased in from next Monday.
Until then 4000 people a week have been allowed in to Australia.
There are now about 25,000 Australians overseas who have registered their intent to come home.
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Mr Kraus said they had re-enrolled their children in school in Austria for now and he was helping out at a new brewing venture nearby.
He said there were minimal restrictions during the past three months; the government opted to manage hot spots rather than revert to hard lockdowns.
"Numbers here are well above Victoria and the latest restriction advice from government is to keep your private party to 25," Mr Kraus said.
"Hospitality and all other things are go with minor changes to ensure better management of distancing."
The Kraus family flew out of Australia in July last year to start a "gap year" in Austria. Sixteen years ago Maria left her unique Tirolean culture to move to Beechworth; her region's German dialect is so distinct it's on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Mr Kraus commended country Victorians on getting through the latest lockdown.
"Congratulations to everyone," he said.
"We're so thankful for our team for looking after the business. When we get through to the other side of all of this, I'm sure we'll all have greater skills."
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