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Australia threatens travelers from India with prison

Australia closed its borders to non-Australian citizens in March 2020. The country is virtually unrestricted.

Image Of A Hospital In New Delhi Capital Of India
Image of a hospital in New Delhi, capital of India, on May 1, 2021 - Photo: Prakash Singh / AFP

People who violate the travel ban from India to Australia by taking connecting flights in a third country could face up to five years in prison, the Australian government announced on Saturday in an attempt to prevent a new wave of Covid infections.

As of Monday, any traveler arriving in Australia who has been in India for the past 14 days may be fined or imprisoned. The measure was announced earlier this week and will remain in effect until at least May 15.

The threat came after travelers on flights with connections from India violated the government’s attempt to temporarily block flights to the Southeast Asian country.

“The government does not take these decisions lightly,” Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.

“It is critical that the integrity of Australia’s public health and quarantine systems is protected, and the number of quarantined Covid-19 cases is maintained at a manageable level,” he added.

Human Rights Watch, an NGO, called the ad “shameful”.

 

“The government should look for safe forms of quarantine for Australians returning from India, instead of focusing their efforts on prison and severe punishment,” said the NGO’s director in Australia, Elaine Pearson.

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    Written by Sapna Verma

    Linguist-translator by education. I have been working in the field of advertising journalism for over 10 years.

    For over 7 years in journalism. Half of them are as editor. My weakness is doing mini-investigations on new topics.

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