Australia PM stands firm on India flight halt

Canberra: Australia’s prime minister is resisting mounting pressure to lift a temporary ban on flights from India, saying any early resumption of arrivals from that pandemic hot spot would erode Australia’s quarantine capability.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the pause on flights that began last week will continue until May 15.

Lawyers are planning a legal challenge to the government’s ability to prevent around 9,000 citizens and permanent residents from returning home from India.

Critics of the travel pause include former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, several Australian lawmakers and leaders of the country’s Indian community.

The Australian health ministry said citizens returning home from India could face up to five years in jail and fines after the government made the journey temporarily illegal.

Image courtesy of SCOTT (Wikimedia)

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