Australia places temporary ban on return of residents and citizens from India

Failure to comply with the policy could result in five years imprisonment

Failure to comply with the policy could result in five years imprisonment

Australia Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement on Saturday that the government is issuing a temporary pause on travelers from India if the person has been in India for 14 days.

As many as 9,000 Australian residents and citizens have been stranded in India after the Australian government banned them from entering the country and announced that those returning home will face fines and jail, government officials said.

Relatives transport the body of a Covid victim to a crematorium in New Delhi, India on May 1.

The decision will be reviewed on 15th May.

"About 15 per cent of our Howard Springs facility now has COVID in it, and almost all of that has been from returning Indians in recent weeks".

"We are giving those quarantine systems a breather so that we can have surety that they will be safe and infections won't spread throughout the Australian community". "You have that duty towards us all - so do not disown us", he said.

Morrison said that there was clear advice from the chief medical officer that it was a decision that was supported and should be taken.

The last instance of pausing flights was from Papua New Guinea about six weeks ago.

"We're all just working to do what's right for the health interests of Australians".

There are now an estimated 9,000 Australians still in India at the moment during a deadly Coronavirus surge that has seen 19.5 million cases and over 215,000 deaths.

Dr Miller blasted the government's "precautionary measure" today, apologising live on-air to Indian-Australians.

He said that he feels awful for the Indian community and wants repatriation flights running safely again.

Foreign airlines like Emirates continue to offer service to Australia
Foreign airlines like Emirates continue to offer service to Australia

"I would just like to apologise to Indian-Australians this morning that those of us who have a voice in this were not able to stop that particular decision around the jailing".

Australian-Indian woman Kim, who travelled to Mumbai to be with her dying father in January, was due to fly back to Perth next week but remains stranded in the country.

Outbound worldwide flights from Australia are now banned.

"I don't believe the government should be focusing on how to criminalise or jail Australians for wanting to return", Mr O'Connor said.

Meanwhile, Professor Michael Toole, an epidemiologist at the Burnet Institute, said the move amounts to an admission the government has "no confidence" in the hotel quarantine system.

"There is infrastructure, this is a country which is a first-world country", he said.

"The Government does not make these decisions lightly", Hunt said in the statement.

The government has cited a global COVID-19 vaccine shortage and health concerns around the AstraZeneca shot, on which Australia's immunization program was based.

There have been calls from Labor and a number of state leaders for the federal government to invest in more purpose-built quarantine facilities, arguing the hotels are increasing public health risk because they are not created to prevent infected people from passing on the virus to others in the same hotel.

Critics pointed out that the government did not threaten to jail or fine people returning from the U.S. or Europe when those countries were suffering from the disease over winter.

"So they are the ones paying the price for us now".

"This will be a dark period in our history looking back".

Deputy who shot Black man appears to mistake phone for gun
The incident took place outside Brown's family's home in Spotsylvania County, Virginia on early Wednesday morning. Haynes, an attorney for Brown's family, said Brown was unarmed and had only a cordless house phone in his hand.

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