Australia bans arrival from India, offenders will face fine and imprisonment

Australia on Saturday announced that the country has imposed a ban on travelers from India due to the massive increase in Covid-19 cases.

Australian residents and citizens, 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 and those who disobey the rules will liable to pay civil penalties and will be imprisoned for maximum five years, 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,” Hunt said.
The Australian government will reconsider the restrictions on May 15, he said.

India’s coronavirus death toll passed 200,000 this week, and cases are nearing 19 million – nearly 8 million since February as virulent new strains have combined with ‘super-spreader’ events.

“The Government does not make these decisions lightly. However, it is critical 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,” Hunt said.