Australia temporarily bans nationals from returning from India with imprisonment and fines for offenders

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The Australian government announced on the evening of April 30 that due to the worsening of the new crown epidemic in India, it will temporarily ban people who have been in India within 14 days from entering, and offenders will be fined or even five years in prison.

Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that starting May 3, people who have been to India within 14 days are prohibited from entering the country, including Australian citizens and permanent residents. Those who violate the regulations face a fine of approximately 66,000 Australian dollars (approximately 52,000 US dollars) or Five years’ imprisonment, or both punishments.

Many media reported that this is the first time that Australia has banned its nationals from entering the country with criminal penalties.

Hunter said that the Australian government did not make this decision lightly, aiming to protect Australia’s public health and quarantine system and to “reduce the number of people infected with the new crown to a manageable level.” Treasury Minister Josh Freidenberg said that Australia implemented this “draconian” measure in accordance with the recommendations of the health department.

India’s second wave of COVID-19 has spread rapidly. According to data released by the Indian Ministry of Health on May 1st, the number of new confirmed cases of new crowns in a single day exceeded 400,000 for the first time, more than 300,000 for 10 consecutive days, with a total of 19.165 million confirmed cases and more than 211,000 deaths.

Australia announced on April 27 that it temporarily banned entry of direct flights from India. The above two temporary entry bans will last until at least May 15.

After Australia banned direct flights from India, two Australian cricketers returned from India via Qatar on April 29.

Some Australians of Indian descent believe that the “no entry order” was overreacted and suspected of racial discrimination, because the Australian government has not taken similar measures against people from the United States and European countries with severe epidemics.

“Why are people from India subject to the ban, but people from the United States are not?” asked Viom Sharma, an Indian doctor.

The White House announced on April 30 that, starting on May 4, it will prohibit entry of persons who have been to India within 14 days, except for American citizens and permanent residents and their spouses.

CNConnect Editor : Don Hills

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