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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.

Go deeper

Aug 9, 2021 - Health

America's Delta data problem

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America is increasingly reliant on data coming from other countries or from drug companies about the coronavirus vaccines' effectiveness over time, particularly when it comes to the Delta variant.

Between the lines: Top Biden officials are growing frustrated with the lack of internal visibility into data being collected by the CDC, particularly as they try to deal with Delta's spread.

Aug 8, 2021 - Health

"The world needs a reality check," health expert warns as COVID surges

An Army officer administers the AstraZeneca vaccine to a Tunisian man at Oued Ellil high school in Manouba. Photo: Jdidi Wassim/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As COVID-19 case numbers surge across the United States and globally due to highly contagious variants of the virus, experts warn that people are not learning the lessons of the pandemic, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Resistance to the measures that could tamper the virus' spread — masking, social distancing, and most importantly, vaccination — could draw out the length of the pandemic and keep a return to normal life at bay.

Updated 13 mins ago - Technology

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.