Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says a travel ban preventing Australians returning from India is “drastic” but is “designed to keep Australians safe”.
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The temporary ban begins on Monday and applies to any travellers who have visited India within 14 days of their intended arrival date in Australia.
Changes to the Biosecurity Act mean Australians could face up to five years in jail and heavy fines if they flee the COVID-ravaged country to return home.
It is understood to be the first time Australia has banned its own citizens from returning, to the point of there being criminal sanctions for those who make it home.
Mr Frydenberg says the government has acted on medical advice to keep Australians safe.
“We have taken drastic action to keep Australians safe, and what we face in India is a very serious situation where the medical advice provided to the federal government has been to put in place these strict measures,” he said.
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