Ten months after he became marooned in the United Kingdom, Tasmanian man and Strait Brands founder Philip Ridyard's situation is even more dire, but he is making the most of a bad situation.
After his UK based mother died and he flew there to sort her affairs before moving to Wales in an attempt to avoid the pandemic as best he could, now convoluted laws mean he cannot legally enter England in order to get back to Australia.
"In my case most of the flights are from London - Heathrow which is 350 kilometres away," Mr Ridyard said.
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"And I'm not supposed to travel out of Wales anyway. Under Welsh law I can't go into England and I'm about eight kilometres from the border.
"So in terms of going into England to get on a plane, strictly it's illegal."
Coupled with burgeoning cases of COVID-19 in the UK and the outbreak of a particularly virulent strain of the virus, Mr Ridyard said it was unlikely he would be able to get back to Australia any time soon.
"I'm on the mercy flight list to come back but it's not exactly an encouraging scenario," he said.
"Especially this week because the number of people allowed to come back into Australia has reduced by half."
He said he had explored the option of trying to formulate his own flight path back home, travelling through Sydney or Perth, but costs were "absolutely astronomical".
"The other day I looked at a flight to Perth, pre the lockdowns elsewhere and WA slamming the door on everybody and it was $13,500," he said.
"Even on the mercy flights it was about $3000 plus $3000 quarantine.
But instead of dwelling on the challenges the virus has thrust upon him, Mr Ridyard has used his new Northern home to expand Strait Brands internationally.
But it has not been all bad news for Mr Ridyard who happens to be the West-Tamar based owner and founder of well-known Tasmanian liquor company Strait Brands.
Speaking to The Examiner in April last year, Mr Ridyard was upbeat about his chances of getting back to Tasmania despite a his first return flight being cancelled. He had made plans to focus on the expansion of his business although he was unwitting as to how long that focus would have to remain.
Now nine months later, Mr Ridyard said he was proud of the work he had been able to do.
"I've probably been able to do more quality work in the last 10 months than in any other 10 months in the last 15 years," he said.
"I've been able to work on export opportunities ... and I'm able to contact people all around the world at a reasonably convenient time and I've been able to develop new opportunities.
"We've now got a UK distributor for distribution in supermarket chains, pub groups, hotels and breweries across the UK and 20 new products with a new brand."
Australian and Tasmanian spirits have been hot property in the spirits market for a number of years now and Mr Ridyard said the fact that his products were distilled using Tasmanian fruit drew extra interest from places wanting to stock his gin and vodka.
"The strength of the Tasmanian brand and the fact that we use 100 per cent fruits in our flavours definitely sounds a chord with our potential distributor and also the retailers, then also down stream with the end user," he said.
"It's extremely positive because most of our international competitions use artificial flavouring."
With his business on track, if not booming, Mr Ridyard was able to reflect on the effort it took to maintain business during the pandemic and bounce back from the whack it took when retailers closed their doors early in 2020.
Mr Ridyard has a resilient attitude that he said was instilled into him by his "stoic" mother, and reinforced to him with her passing.
"I'm very similar to my mother in many ways. She was fairly strong willed and determined and has always been able to take adversity on the chin and I've been quite used to doing that myself," he said.
Mr Ridyard said there really was no other way to approach the situation that he had found himself in, but in doing so he was able to "plod along" and get by.
"Things are going to happen and you've just got to take them on. That was the way I approached it from very early on, that I'd take each day as it came but in the mean time I'd also make sure that the work that I was doing was going to prepare the business for the future and personally prepare me for the future."
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