‘Jail or Pay Hefty Fine’, Australia on Citizens Coming From India
This decision has been taken to stop travellers from entering Australia due to rising COVID cases in India.
Australian government on Friday, 30 April, imposed a strict ban on its citizens from returning home, if they have spent time in India up to 14 days before flying back. Those who disobey will face fine and jail, the government officials said.
This decision has been taken to stop travellers from entering Australia, against the backdrop of a surge in COVID cases in India, and to prevent the arrival of the new SARS-COV-2 variants that were detected in the country.
Australian government announced that the restrictions come into effect from Monday, 3 May, and has threatened to prosecute the violators with a possibility of five-year jail term or a penalty of $66,000 for breaching the ban.
In a statement, Health Minister Greg Hunt said that the government did not make these decisions lightly. "It is critical that the integrity of the Australian public health and quarantine systems is protected and the number of COVID-19 cases in quarantine facilities is reduced to a manageable level."
The Australian government will reconsider the restrictions on 15 May. Earlier, in April, Australia suspended all direct flights from India.
According to the Australian officials, at least 9,000 Australians are living in India. It said around 600 of them are vulnerable to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, several Australian cricketers are currently in India and are involved in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). However, some Australians, including cricketers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, returned via countries having operational flight connectivity.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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