Australians who are in India within 14 days of returning home will be barred from entering Australia on Monday and those who do not will be fined and jailed.
The temporary emergency decision issued late Friday evening is the first time that Australia has made it a criminal offense to return home.
The move is part of a crackdown on travelers to Australia, the world’s second-most populous country, as it battles rising Covid-19 cases and deaths.
The restrictions come into force on May 3, ումը violation of the ban jeopardizes civil penalties և five years in prison. This is stated in a statement by Health Minister Greg Hunt.
“The government does not allow those decisions,” said Mr. Hunt. “However, it is possible that the integrity of Australia’s public health quarantine systems is protected, and the number of Covid-19 cases in quarantine facilities is being brought to a manageable level. «
The government will review the restrictions on May 15.
The death toll from the coronavirus in India has risen to more than 200,000 this week, with cases approaching 19 million as new viruses are combined with “over-distribution” events such as political rallies and religious festivals.
Australian surgeon Nela Aki Anakiraman, a family member in India, said the decision to “prosecute” Australians returning from India was disproportionate and extremely punitive.
“Indo-Australians perceive this as a racist policy because they treat us differently than people in other countries who have had waves of infection, such as the United States, Great Britain and Europe. “It’s very difficult to feel anything other than being targeted as an ethnic group.”
Human rights groups also expressed outrage over the ban, saying the government should focus on improving the quarantine system, not punishing it.
“It simply came to our notice then. “Australians have the right to return to their homeland,” said Elaine Pearson, director of Human Rights Watch Australia.
“The government should look for ways to provide safe quarantine to Australians returning from India, instead focusing on tougher prison sentences.”
Australia, which does not have community transfers, announced a temporary suspension of direct flights from India until mid-May on Tuesday. However, some Australians, including cricketers Adam amp’s Kane Richardson, returned via Doha.
The move on Tuesday left more than 9,000 Australians in India, 650 of whom are listed as vulnerable.
Australia, with the exception of the seal, eradicated the coronavirus after closing its borders to non-residents and permanent residents in March 2020, recording a total of 29,800 cases և 910 deaths.