(AFP) — People arriving in Australia from coronavirus-ravaged India could face five years jail as the country strengthens an earlier travel ban, the government announced Saturday, in a bid to prevent the outbreak from spreading to its shores.
From Monday, any traveller into Australia who has been in India in the past 14 days could face fines and jail time, adding to a temporary ban announced earlier this week, which will remain in place until at least May 15.
The threat came after travellers on indirect flights from India exposed a loophole in the government’s attempt to temporarily block arrivals from the South Asian nation.
“The government does not make these decisions lightly,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
“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