As Carl Cox comes back to a less than rapturous welcome to the UK, do the critics have a point – or are they just being See You Next Tuesdays?

The Mornington Peninsula is an area to the south of Melbourne in Australia. It’s well known for its natural attractions such as its many beaches. There are also many fine wineries to be explored. And nearly a fifth of residents are from outside Australia. Some 9% are originally from the UK.

It’s also the place where Carl Cox chose to make home a few years ago after deciding he wanted to slow down in life. No one could begrudge him a rest after all those years of travelling around the world, after all. Cox has continued to work, but not to the same extent as before.

Then last year, the pandemic struck. Australia’s response was to immediately close its borders to prevent the virus from getting a foothold in the country. As of Friday, Australia had seen 31,632 cases and 912 deaths from coronavirus.

Cox’s last gig before lockdown was on March 14th in the USA. At the time, it was a matter of when, not if Australia would close its borders. He returned to the country on March 16th and entered a 14-day period of self-isolation, as required by Australian rules at the time. He’s been in the country ever since.

The past year has not been an easy one. Aside from being unable to work, there was also the death of his father in July last year after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Travel restrictions meant that Cox could not go to his native Manchester to attend the funeral – a terrible plight that has affected so many during this pandemic, myself included.

This week, he finally got the visa to allow him to travel back to Britain. But his post on Facebook about the subject was not entirely well received – with accusations that Cox was getting privileges or special treatment unavailable to the public abound in a bad-tempered comments section.

This is a difficult one to unravel. Cox bought the Mornington Peninsula house around the year 2005. It’s believed he has permanent residency rights in the country – this means they cannot currently leave Australia unless they qualify under a list of limited exemptions.

According to Cox himself, he says “I had to wait for a family member to pass, waited 16 months to finally get a visa to leave and come back in 3 months time. There is no special pass made up for me, in the end it was compassion”. He also details that he usually stays in Melbourne for three months at a time.

However, the fact that he has a sold out gig at Brighton Beach this coming week – Covid rules in England prohibiting mass gatherings are due to be removed tomorrow – has not gone unnoticed. And his claim that he must return to Australia within three months leaves him with a very tight schedule indeed.

Skiddle lists him as having seven events across England – other parts of the UK remain off-limits due to ongoing restrictions. The last of those is listed as Warehouse Project in Manchester on September 25th. Which would be plenty of time to return to Oz before the deadline. Except for a US tour which starts on October 1st in Orlando and continues until the 16th in Los Angeles.

If this is correct, Cox would need to make a stopover to Australia between September 26th and the 30th before flying out to the USA on a different visa.

From Britain to Australia to the USA in just seven days – that’s an awful lot of air miles…