COVID-19: Australia announces jail term for those arriving from India


In a move to safeguard its population, Australia has made travel ban on those travelling from India stricter. Reportedly, those arriving from India can face jail term for five years. India is currently ravaged by an immensely deadly wave of COVID-19, and is ravaged. Australia has made the regulations harsher to protect itself from any outbreak of COVID-19. The rule goes into affect today, and is applicable to those who has been to India in the past 14 days.

Any traveller who breaches the rule can also be fined for the same; the new rules have been added to Australia’s temporary travel ban from India that was announced last week. Reportedly, stricter rules and terms have been put into place after travellers who were on indirect fights from India exposed other passengers. It also exposed the glitch in Australia’s attempt to block arrivals from India.

Australia Health Minister Greg Hunt commented on the same and said that, “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.”

The move has been criticised by humans rights organisations, some terming it “outrageous” and “racist”. They opine that rather than threatening travellers with imprisonment, Australian authorities should focus on safely quarantining Australian arrivals from India. It is reported that this the “imprisonment” move is the first ever travel ban of this kind by any nation.

In 2020, Australia closed its borders to non-citizens in March, and still has a number of restrictions in place.

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