Australia bans arrivals from India
Australian citizens and residents who have been in India within 14 days of the date they plan to return home will be banned from entering Australia as of Monday (May 3) and those who disobey will face fines and jail, government officials said. The temporary emergency determination, issued late on Friday, is the first time Australia has made it a criminal offence for its citizens to return home.
The move is part of strict measures to stop travellers to Australia from the world’s second most populous nation as it contends with a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths. The restrictions come into effect from May 3 and breaching the ban risks civil penalties and up to five years imprisonment, Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
“Our hearts go out to the people of India – and our Indian-Australian community. The friends and family of those in Australia are in extreme risk. Tragically, many are contracting Covid-19 and many, sadly, are dying every day,” Mr Hunt said.
Travellers now have to undergo a mandatory two-week hotel quarantine at their own expense, a system that has largely helped Australia to keep its Covid-19 numbers relatively low, with just over 29,800 cases and 910 deaths.