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Australia bans arrivals from India

Australia bans arrivals from India
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Australia bans arrivals from India

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Australian residents and citizens who have been in India within 14 days of the date they plan to return home will be banned from entering Australia as of Monday and those who disobey will face fines and jail, government officials said.

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Sydney: Australian residents and citizens who have been in India within 14 days of the date they plan to return home will be banned from entering Australia as of Monday and those who disobey will face fines and jail, government officials said.

The emergency determination, made late on Friday, is part of strict measures to stop travellers to Australia from the world's second most populous nation as it contends with a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths. The decision was based on the proportion of overseas travellers in quarantine in Australia, who have contracted the infection in India, according to Health Minister Greg hunt.

"Failure to comply with an emergency determination under the Biosecurity Act, 2015 may incur a civil penalty of 300 penalty units, five years' imprisonment or both," an official statement from the ministry said. "The CMO will consider the epidemiology in India and likely impacts on Australia's quarantine capacity and provide a further expert assessment of the public health risk to Australia to inform a proportionate response," it further read.

The restrictions come into effect from May 3 and breaching the ban risks civil penalties and up to five years imprisonment, Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.

"Our hearts go out to the people of India – and our Indian-Australian community. The friends and family of those in Australia are in extreme risk. Tragically, many are contracting Covid-19 and many, sadly, are dying every day," Hunt said. The Australian government will reconsider the restrictions on May 15, he said.

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