Australia receives backlash for harsh travel ban against India

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The ban Bolt is referring to is, of course, the pause on all direct flights from India as a deadly second wave swept across the country.

From Monday, any Australian arriving in the country from India faces fines and up to five years in prison.

The ban comes into effect from May 3, and will be reconsidered on May 15.

But Mr Morrison said the measure was simply to protect Australians' health and dismissed accusations of racism. "The ban has been implemented on the basis of advice from health officials", Morrison told the Sydney-based radio station 2GB in an interview on Monday.

"There's no politics or ideology in a pandemic". "I get that we want to stop the virus sneaking into Australia... but it should mean something to be Australian".

This will be the first time Australians have been criminalised for returning to their country, Australian media report.

From Monday, May 3, people who have been to India in the past 14 days will be banned from entering Australia due to the concerns over India's growing coronavirus epidemic, which saw nearly 400,000 cases in a single day on Sunday.

"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 USA, the United Kingdom and Europe".

"That worldwide border will be closed for longer than it needs to be because [Prime Minister] Scott Morrison has bungled his two key responsibilities - to get the vaccination rolled out safely and quickly and effectively, and to manage the quarantine system", Chalmers told Sky News.

She said this placed a "very, very significant burden on health and medical services".

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"We absolutely recognised the very, very hard circumstances occurring in India right now ... for so many families, and indeed here in Australia, for Indian Australians, who are so anxious about their families overseas", Senator Payne told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.

Federal Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi wrote on Twitter that the measures were "absolutely horrific and racist". In a statement, the commission said it will directly approach the government directly with its concerns.

"There are different standards at play here depending on which part of the world you're coming from".

Legal experts have also raised concerns that the temporary ban violates global law.

"The right not to be arbitrarily deprived of entering one's own country can be subject to restrictions".

The Australian Human Rights Commission said in a statement: "The Government must show that these measures are not discriminatory and are the only suitable way of dealing with the threat to public health".

Husband Pankaj said he understood the "anxiety" about travellers returning to Australia from India, but the quarantine system should be able to handle positive cases.

The country has successfully operated a policy of mandatory, 14-day quarantine for all worldwide arrivals - mostly conducted in hotels. "Let's fix our quarantine system rather than leave our fellow Australians stranded".

Dr Miller blasted the government's "precautionary measure" today, apologising live on-air to Indian-Australians.

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