Australia all set to restart repatriation flights from India from May 15


The decision came into force on Monday and was denounced by rights groups and some of Morrison's most prominent allies including Sky News commentator Andrew Bolt who said it "stinks of racism".

Morrison stood by his decision to impose a biosecurity order barring flights to and from India, a ban that was backed by potential prosecution and financial penalties.

Mr Morrison confirmed a meeting of cabinet's national security committee on Thursday agreed not to extend the travel ban.

"The order that we have put in place has been highly effective, it's doing the job that we needed it to do, and that was to ensure that we could do everything we can to prevent a third wave of COVID-19 here in Australia", Morrison told reporters.

"First you grant us exemptions to go to India to look after our loved ones who are fighting for their lives, then you abandon us, leave us to die in a country that's gasping for air", the woman said.

'We have rapid antigen testing in place to give ourselves a greater sense of surety that if we are bringing people back to Australia we are minimising the risk of Covid cases of being brought into the country, ' he said. The government has made a decision to resume flights with one flight per 7 to 9 days.

"Rapid antigen testing is a requirement and a negative test to get on a border flight to Australia", Mr Morrison said.

Evacuees will be taken to the Howard Springs quarantine facility in the Northern Territory, which will be expanded to provide 2,000 beds by next week, according to the BBC.

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Medical staff attend to Covid-19 positive patients in the emergency ward at the Holy Family hospital in New Delhi, India.

The future of direct flights out of India to Sydney is also being worked through with the NSW government.

Travelers wearing protective face masks make their way through the arrivals section of the global terminal of Kingsford Smith worldwide Airport the morning after Australia implemented an entry ban on non-citizens and non-residents meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, March 21, 2020.

The government threatened to prosecute them with a possibility of five years of jail term or a penalty of 66,000 Australian dollars (USD 50,899).

Australians trapped overseas may wait many months, with some states reluctant to boost their intake.

'That's a significant reduction but we're going to be very precautionary with our hotels, ' Premier Mark McGowan said.

The numbers come after Australia's announced it's initial support package to India which included including 500 ventilators, a million surgical masks, 500,000 P2 and N95 masks, 100,000 goggles, 100,000 pairs of gloves, and 20,000 face shields.

Australians are now banned from entering the country from Covid-ravaged India.