Any Aussie traveler from India who enters Australia will face up to five years in jail and heavy fines for violating a travel ban taking effect on Monday, the government said Saturday.
“The government does not make these decisions lightly,” Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement to the ABC News in announcing stricter border controls in view of the ravaging COVID-19 disaster that has gripped the South Asian nation.
The new measures “were due to an unmanageable number of arrivals from the country who have tested positive to COVID-19,” said Hunt,
Australia will impose from Monday a temporary ban on arrivals from India which will be reviewed on May 15. It applies to any traveler who visited India “within 14 days of their intended arrival date in Australia.”
To avoid the spread of the virus coming from India, Australian authorities will impose a travel ban on anyone who violates the new restrictions that could lead to jail for up to five years. Violators may also face a fine of nearly $51,000.
“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,” said Hunt.
India set another world record for coronavirus cases Friday, registering 386,452 infections.
Its caseload has now reached 18.7 million, while overall fatalities have risen to 208,330, including 3,498 new deaths.
India has been witnessing an exponential rise in infections. Since April 22, the country has been registering more than 300,000 daily cases, which has brought the country’s health system to near collapse, resulting in an acute shortage of beds, oxygen and treatment drugs.
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