Covid: Australians could face jail or fines if they return from India

Henrietta Strickland
May 1, 2021

Australians trying to return from India as the country faces an escalating coronavirus crisis now face fines or jail time for getting on a plane.

Last night, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt announced anyone who attempted to defy the rules would be hit with fines of up to AU$66,600 (NZ$71,680) or five years in prison, or both.

More than 9,000 Australian citizens are believed to be in India.

"Following the resolution by @MOH_Kenya to suspend all passenger flights into the country from India, the Council has released a list of isolation facilities".

"National cabinet expressed solidarity with the Indian community both within Australia and overseas", Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement yesterday, not fronting the media after the meeting. The quarantine system has largely helped Australia to keep its Covid-19 numbers relatively low, with just under 29,700 cases and 910 deaths.

The epidemiology in India and the likely impacts it will have on Australia's quarantine capacity will be considered by the CMO, as will the public health risk to Australia to inform a "proportionate response".

The Federal Government is anxious that arrivals from India are putting Australia's strict quarantine system at risk.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Australia extended the ambit of flight ban from India by shutting transit routes through Doha, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, ABC News reported.

The Federal Government said it wants flights from India to resume as soon as possible. The decision was taken after two Australian cricketers, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, who left the Indian Premier League midway, took a Qatar Airways flight on Thursday afternoon to return to Australia.

He said that those arriving in Kenya within the said 72 hours from India shall undertake mandatory testing and those who test positive for Covid-19 shall would be isolated for 14 days at their own cost.

India has seen cases soar to 19 million and deaths total 200,000.

India recorded 360,960 new infections in the last 24 hours, the largest in a single day taking the country's tally of infections to almost 18 million.

On Friday, India reported 386,452 new Covid cases.

The government is sending oxygen supplies, ventilators and personal protective equipment to India through the Department of Foreign Affairs.

But the relieved pair managed to get tickets to Doha on Wednesday before securing seats on a chartered flight back to Australia, The Australian reported.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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