Australia has an obesity crisis

Australia tightened entry ban from India

/ picture alliance, ANSA, TELENEWS

Sydney - Because of the coronavirus mutant rampant in India, Australia has tightened its entry ban: As of today, all travelers who have been in India in the past 14 days will face fines as well as prison sentences of up to five years, the Australian government said the day before yesterday With. Thousands of Australians are affected, including professional cricketers.

In view of the current corona crisis in India, Canberra had already banned all direct flights from India last Tuesday until May 15, after which returnees use transfer connections. With the tightening, all loopholes should now be closed. Health Secretary Greg Hunt defended the decision. It is necessary to protect the Australian "health and quarantine system".

Human Rights Watch harshly criticized the decision to criminalize people for violating the travel ban. "The government should look for ways to safely quarantine Australians returning from India instead of focusing their efforts on prison terms and harsh punishments," said Elaine Pearson, the international human rights representative for Australia, previously rejected by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to bring back the Australians stranded in India by charter flights.

Australia had largely closed its border to foreigners in March 2020. Those who are allowed to travel must spend 14 days in quarantine hotels on their return. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the continent with its 25 million inhabitants has recorded fewer than 30,000 infections and 910 deaths.

Because of the devastating corona crisis in India, the US government is also imposing an entry ban for foreigners from the South Asian country. The measure comes into force tomorrow and is indefinitely, according to an order from US President Joe Biden last Friday.

Foreigners who have been in India in the previous 14 days are then no longer allowed to enter. This does not apply to US citizens, foreigners with permanent right of residence in the US, diplomats and certain other groups of people.

In Biden's order, it said the measure was taken on the advice of the US health authority CDC. "The Republic of India is responsible for more than a third of the new worldwide cases." The number of new infections is increasing rapidly. In addition, several variants of the coronavirus were circulating in the South Asian country.

The US State Department corona coordinator Gayle Smith said last Friday that the situation in India was "very, very serious" - and that the crisis there had not yet reached its peak.

Furthermore, due to the pandemic, there is basically an entry ban for foreigners from the European Schengen area, Great Britain, Ireland, China, Brazil, South Africa and Iran. Entry from these states is usually only possible with a special permit ("National Interest Exception"). © afp / dpa /