Australia bans return of residents and citizens from India, offenders face fines and prison

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  2 weeks ago  •  35 comments

By:   Reuters

Australia bans return of residents and citizens from India, offenders face fines and prison
Australia has banned its residents and citizens who have been in India from entering Australia with offenders facing fines and jail, government officials said.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



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 temporary emergency determination, issued late on Friday, is the first time Australia has made it a criminal offence for its citizens to return home.

The move is part of strict measures to stop travelers to Australia from India as it contends with a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

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.

"The government does not make these decisions lightly," Hunt said.

"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."

The government will reconsider the restrictions on May 15.

1619823898973_nn_mal_covid_americas_reopening_210430_1920x1080.focal-760x428.jpg

U.S. will restrict travel from India amid Covid crisis


India's coronavirus death toll passed 200,000 this week, and cases have topped 19 million as virulent new strains have combined with "super-spreader" events such as political rallies and religious festivals.

The surge in cases led President Joe Biden to impose new travel restrictions on India on Friday, barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States.

Neela Janakiramanan, an Australian surgeon with family in India said the decision to "criminalize" Australians returning from India was disproportionate and overly punitive.

"Indian-Australians are seeing this as a racist policy because we are being treated different than people from other countries who have had similar waves of infection like the U.S., the UK and Europe. It is very hard to feel anything other than targeted as an ethnic group."

Human rights groups also voiced indignation at the ban, suggesting the government's focus should be on improving its quarantine system, not on punishment.

"This is an outrageous response. Australians have a right of return to their own country," Human Rights Watch's Australia director, Elaine Pearson said in a statement.

"The government should be looking for ways to safely quarantine Australians returning from India, instead of focusing their efforts on prison sentences and harsh punishments."

Australia, which has no community transmissions, on Tuesday introduced a temporary suspension of direct flights from India until mid-May. However, some Australians, including cricketers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, returned via Qatar.

Tuesday's move had left over 9,000 Australians stranded in India, 650 of whom are registered as vulnerable, officials said.

Australia has all but stamped out the coronavirus after closing its borders to non-citizens and permanent residents in March 2020, recording just 910 deaths.

Reuters


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Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
1  Paula Bartholomew    2 weeks ago

Australia is just doing the right thing to protect its citizens.  Anyone who goes to India at this time has a death wish.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
2  Kathleen    2 weeks ago

Totally understandable considering how out of control it is. We need to protect the other countries. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3  Texan1211    2 weeks ago

surprised no Democrats gave declared Australia to be xenophobic on this.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Participates
3.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Texan1211 @3    2 weeks ago

Mr. Xenophobia himself banned travel from India the other day too.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Some Australians are upset about this and believe that Australia should have a quarantine system for those needing to return. That would seem more in keeping with protecting their citizens. 

As stated in the article some evaded this by simply flying through Qatar.

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
4.1  shona1  replied to  Kavika @4    2 weeks ago

Morning. All overseas traveller's are quarantined for 2 weeks. The majour concern is people will try and get in illegally as the 2 idiot cricketers did. If people follow the rules do what is asked then there is no problem. But when they find loop holes and do it illegally, then it hits the fan..

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @4.1    2 weeks ago
2 idiot cricketers did.

As always there will be those that are asses, now what will the consequences be for these two idiots?

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
4.1.2  shona1  replied to  Kavika @4.1.1    2 weeks ago

They will be in two weeks quarantine and if clear will be released. But seeing they found the loop hole not sure. They maybe fined would be about it.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Guide
5  Greg Jones    2 weeks ago

Meanwhile, thousands of possibly infected "migrants" are allowed across the border to travel freely all across the country shedding the virus.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
5.1  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Greg Jones @5    2 weeks ago

IMO: Due once again from a lack of planning. 

America just doesn't seem to learn. Plan before making large border or any major changes. 

Sad and ignorant. Insanity in motion. Just keep doing the same crap and expect different results.

DUuu !!

 
 
 
Ronin2
Senior Quiet
5.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @5.1    2 weeks ago

Lack of planning?

This is what the Democrats have been planning for a very long time. Since the Democratic presidential primaries they have been ringing the dinner bell for illegals to come to the US. This is the reason the Biden administration denies there even is a border crisis. They knew this was going to happen well in advance, they were counting on it.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
5.1.2  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Ronin2 @5.1.1    2 weeks ago
They knew this was going to happen well in advance, they were counting on it.

I disagree, Why would Biden want a major problem as he started his term ?

Biden would have been much better off in instrumenting and furthering even more of his policies if things went smoothly. 

IMO: As I have stated neither party did any planning on the consequences of their actions. 

Both policy changes done with little to no planning ended up with a crisis at our border.

I agree Biden's policies and objectives are different that the prior administrations but they both have lack of planning as the reason for both border crisis. 

Also as I said IMO: This is insanity in motion.

How many times do we have to see this before our politicians realize that major changes need detailed planning ? 

Before implantation begins. 

Duuu

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6  TᵢG    2 weeks ago
"The government should be looking for ways to safely quarantine Australians returning from India, instead of focusing their efforts on prison sentences and harsh punishments."

Makes sense.   I agree with Australia seeking to keep its population safe.   A vaccination and quarantine seem to be a responsible way to go rather than simply ban.

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.

Prison?   That is beyond stupid.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
6.1  Kathleen  replied to  TᵢG @6    2 weeks ago

Prison is too far, however I do think a Quarantine would be fine. If you break quarantine then they should be charged and maybe a prison sentence.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Kathleen @6.1    2 weeks ago

I would prefer to never see prison for such offenses.   We put too many people in prison already and all that does is ruin their lives and brings net harm to society.   To me, prison is for killers, serial thieves and others who are incorrigible and society is left with no choice but to isolate them from civil society.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.2  Kavika   replied to  TᵢG @6.1.1    2 weeks ago

Large fines and possible jail terms have been used before in Australia for breaking the lockdown rules imposed by Australia at the height of the pandemic.

Australia has been fining people for breaking isolation/quarantine rules for some time and has threatened jail. I don't know if anyone has been jailed but tens of thousands of dollars in fines have been issued. 

There are very serious when it comes to COVID which I have no problem with but jail for trying to get back to their country of origin is, IMO, not right. Quarantine is the answer IMO.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
6.1.3  Kathleen  replied to  TᵢG @6.1.1    2 weeks ago

I guess I look at it like the people that break quarantine really don’t care about the lives of others. So I have no problem with throwing their butt in jail for a while. I do agree with you on the rest. 

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
6.1.4  shona1  replied to  Kathleen @6.1.3    2 weeks ago

Morning..yep quite a few ferals have been put in jail.. they didn't break the laws again..

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
6.2  shona1  replied to  TᵢG @6    2 weeks ago

Morning. Don't have a problem with it. Quite a few ferals have landed themselves in jail. Broke lock down rules, escaped quarantine, did not self isolate when required. Some got their 15 minutes of fame. But we take a very dim view of anyone putting others at risk by their own stupidity..and they knew the consequences of it. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.1  TᵢG  replied to  shona1 @6.2    2 weeks ago

I can see punitive local jail time as a deterrent.   But I am against putting people in jail for any extended period of time or doing anything to their records which would compromise their ability to be employed and be productive members of society.   Jail has the effect of screwing up a recoverable life.    So if Ollie gets 10 days in a low-security jail that is one thing.   But conviction and months or more in a 'real' jail is counterproductive IMO.

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
6.2.2  shona1  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.1    2 weeks ago

Morning Tig. No we are not talking long term or top security etc.. most a couple of days and community service for the ones that have broken the rules so far eg lock downown or quarantine breaches.

Now for this temporary measure they have been warned. Anyone with half an ounce of sense will stay put for two weeks and then hopefully flights will start up again and they can come back. If they think they are more important or want to jump the queue they should have thought about that before attending weddings, funerals or rellies dieing. Harsh I know but that is reality. 

This bloody virus changes people's lives in hours. They know that as we have slammed our Interstate borders shut in 24 hours and people are stuck in that State. And the same rules apply fines or jail if you breach them.

Sorry but acting dumb on this for their own self interests, is not in the interests of the whole country. We have had 16 months of this now and everyone knows the risks of just travelling Interstate, let alone overseas.

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
6.2.3  shona1  replied to  shona1 @6.2.2    2 weeks ago

Just reading some info. 57% of people who are in quarantine at the moment who have the virus travelled from India.

NZ banned all flights from India because they said people were testing negative before boarding and then catching it on the plane.

We have just started up a travel bubble with NZ and they and us don't want to put that at risk for anyone.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.4  TᵢG  replied to  shona1 @6.2.2    2 weeks ago
Morning Tig. No we are not talking long term or top security etc.. most a couple of days and community service for the ones that have broken the rules so far eg lock downown or quarantine breaches.

That form of 'jail' is no problem.   Community service is even better.   

My meaning for 'jail' correlates with what takes place all too often here in the USA.   People (who are not intrinsically criminal) are sentenced to jail for offenses such as possession of small amounts of illegal substances, being in the wrong place with the wrong color skin, etc.   Since jail (not the short stay you have mentioned) generally does harm to the individual (and thus to society) my position (in general, not limited to this) is that we should use jail as a last resort ... for incorrigible criminals who need to be isolated from civil society.   

So I think we see eye-to-eye.    The virus is serious and it is critical to keep potentially infected people away until they can be cleared.   One person breaking these rules is all that it takes to start a new epicenter of infection.

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
6.2.5  shona1  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.4    2 weeks ago

Yes spot on..our jails are nothing like yours from what I have seen on tv. Ours are bad enough but think you mob win hands down on that one.

To be honest it would be extremely rare for anyone to be jailed if they fly in illegally..but we will see. I would not put it to the test though as we are in no mood for anyone to stuff it up.

There are 10,000 wanting to come home from India and as I said they will just have to wait it out. There are just as many wanting to come home from other countries and we are not going to over load our quarantine and hospital systems for anyone.

Yes you are dead right, it only takes one to stuff it all up...and none of us can afford that to happen.

As this is going to be long term we are looking at building special quarantine stations now.

What does the USA do?? Surely not just letting everyone waltz in...do you quarantine etc??

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
6.2.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  shona1 @6.2.5    2 weeks ago
What does the USA do?? Surely not just letting everyone waltz in...do you quarantine etc??

According to the CDC, travelers arriving in the US must have a negative covid test within 3 days prior to travel. 

There are no flights from India right now.

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
6.2.7  shona1  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.2.6    2 weeks ago

Anoon sandy....yes and is that it?? Don't people have to quarantine etc? It can be four or five days after a negative test it can develop as we have seen here.

Hence two weeks quarantine and we have managed to catch everyone who develops it.

We are also running contact people tracing as well on mobile phones etc. So if there is an outbreak people can be traced if they were in the area and can self isolate. This is standard practice here now.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
6.2.8  sandy-2021492  replied to  shona1 @6.2.7    2 weeks ago

They only have to isolate if they develop symptoms.

It seems inadequate to me, but that's probably one of the reasons we're not doing as well as you are.

And we gave up on contact tracing early in the ballgame, except for kids in schools, but even that isn't very good.  One friend's daughter was exposed in kindergarten, and the school and health department didn't tell her until 7 days later.  In that time, she had visited her grandparents.  They were outdoor visits, and everyone wore a mask, but they would have skipped the visits entirely if they'd known about the exposure.

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
6.2.9  shona1  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.2.8    2 weeks ago

Hmmm very hit and miss..by the time symptoms have developed it is to late...and people will not self isolate even if they know they are infected.

At the end of the day this virus is here for the long term. Have to accept that fact and do what ever to try and contain it. Vaccines will help but won't stop it and if it keeps mutating we will all be up the creek.

We will do whatever it takes to try and keep everyone safe here...and if that means banning citizens and stopping flights for the moment, then so be it. 

I feel desperately for India and her people. They are part of the Commonwealth and we play cricket against them. A hundred thousand will roll up for a match.

But at the end of the day, their government has alot to answer to. They were going quite well until all the religious festivals started up with tens of thousands rolling up...a disaster waiting to happen..

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
7  shona1    2 weeks ago

Morning. I don't have a problem with it to be honest. We have not come this far to have it stuffed up now.

First why would you be flying anywhere at the moment, especially within the last 16 months. If you have and get stuck well tough. We could not attend weddings funerals rellies dieing here in the country, let alone outside it.

There are 40,000 Aussies still waiting to come home from all around the world. We bring them back in small numbers so the quarantine system is not over loaded. Mandatory 2 weeks here at your own expense.

So anyone who has left Australia in the last 16 months knew this and if they have now got stuck well sorry tough. Yes we have banned flights from India for 2 weeks as did New Zealand starting last week. We have not come this far to have it stuffed up now.

A top indian community leader said here last week when the ban was being considered...I and the Indian community completely understand the government's decision...and look forward to the flights continuing again..and that is good enough for me.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7.1  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @7    2 weeks ago

As I stated above I have no problem at all with the fines and jail for breaking the Australian lockdown. I have no idea why people at flying out of Australia during this time, but they are. 

There are 40,000 Aussies still waiting to come home from all around the world. We bring them back in small numbers so the quarantine system is not over loaded. Mandatory 2 weeks here at your own expense.

I didn't realize that the number was still that large. It is for lack of quarantine areas (quarters)? 

I know that as a person with permanent residency in Australia I cannot get into the country currently which I don't have a problem with but I would think that for Australian citizens that the government should have a better (quicker) system to handle it.

Your thoughts.

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
7.1.1  shona1  replied to  Kavika @7.1    2 weeks ago

Morning. Yes mainly quarantine. We use designated hotel's etc and don't want them overwhelmed..

We are bringing back a few thousand a week and once they are processed the next lot come in. Each State is taking a share of people in quarantine so it is a combined effort.

Has worked quite well and we can't mess it up now after coming so far...

Plus more and more are wanting to come home as it is such a mess overseas.. some have been away for years and are now wanting to come back..

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
7.1.2  shona1  replied to  shona1 @7.1.1    2 weeks ago

Also we saw what happened around the world with the hospital's and medical staff. We did not want that happening here either...and thank goodness it hasn't...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7.1.3  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @7.1.1    2 weeks ago

Australia has done an outstanding job of containing the virus which my kids/grandkids/great grandkids are thankful for. Three of them are on the front lines of the battle with COVID. 

I assume that many Australians would like to see the quarantine area enlarged which would get them in the country sooner. 

It seems that our trip to OZ this year will not happen. Hopefully, 2022 will be the year.

Of course, the US has handled the pandemic so well that our advice should be accepted worldwide without question. I hope that I don't have to add the sarcasm tag to that comment.

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
7.1.4  shona1  replied to  Kavika @7.1.3    2 weeks ago

Yes we want to keep everyone safe. All the infections here in quarantine are from India. And it is the same in New Zealand.

Plus there are now two variants of the virus running in India...so that is not helpful.

We are looking at it short term pain for long term gain for India. Everyone knows how rampant this virus can be and we have no intentions of letting it get a grip here.

910 lost souls is enough for us.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
8  Kavika     2 weeks ago

The proof is in the pudding. Australia 35 deaths per 1m population. In the US, 1777 deaths per 1m population.

Difficult to argue those stats.

 
 
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