May 1, 2021 - Health

Australia bans all arrivals from India

Picture of airport in Australia

Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

The Australian government said late Friday that its citizens and residents who have been in India within the past two weeks will be barred from re-entry starting Monday.

The state of play: Government officials said that anyone who disobeys the ban will face fines and up to five years imprisonment, making it the first time Australia has made it a criminal offense for its citizens to go home, per Reuters.

What they're saying: "The government does not make these decisions lightly. 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," Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

The government plans to evaluate the restrictions again on May 15.

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