Flight/ Representative pic
Flight/ Representative pic

WWith Covid-19 positive cases touched a new peak of 4 lakh infections in India on Saturday, more countries banned arrivals from the country that is struggling in the second wave.

Australian citizens who wish to return home from India may face jail term or hefty fine while the US has imposed travel restrictions from India beginning May 4. Canada banned entry of international students including from India to Ontario, the worst-hit province in that country.

Australian citizens could face five-year jail term or hefty fines up to 66,000 dollars if they try to return home from India after Canberra made the journey temporarily illegal in an effort to curb the spread of the deadly viral infection in this country.

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.

"Failure to comply with an emergency determination under the Biosecurity Act, 2015 may incur a civil penalty of 300 penalty units, five years' imprisonment or both," the health ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the decision will be revised on May 15 following advice from the chief medical officer (CMO).

"The CMO will consider the epidemiology in India and likely impacts on Australia's quarantine capacity, and provide a further expert assessment of the public health risk to Australia to inform a proportionate response," it said.

The Australian government's decision has also been criticised by several people.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has imposed restrictions on travel from India that stops most non-American citizens from entering the US for an indefinite period from May 4, citing the surging Covid-19 in the country.

Biden issued a proclamation on Friday restricting travel from India starting on May 4.

Certain categories of students, academics, journalists and individuals have been exempted from the ban, the US State Department said.

Canada is all set to suspend entry of international students, including from India, to Ontario, the worst-hit province which is battling the third wave of the coronavirus.

According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), an education service provider based in Ottawa, there were 530,540 international students in Canada in 2020, of which the maximum were from India (34 per cent) followed by China (22 per cent).

Ontario has the maximum number of foreign students at 242,825 or 46 per cent, it said.

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Free Press Journal