Aussie cricket stars Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson have landed safe back in Australia after fleeing COVID-19-ravaged India following Primer Minister Scott Morrison’s attempt to shut the border.
The two cricketers, who had been playing in India’s rich Indian Premier League, have badly exposed a staggering loophole in the system that has allowed them to side-step the border protection measures.
Flights to and from India into Australia were suspended this week amid increasing concerns over the nation’s escalating COVID-19 situation.
“We recognise that this has been a very significant outbreak in India,” the Prime Minister told reporters, off the back of a national security committee meeting on Tuesday.
“Today we agreed, in addition to the measures that I announced after the last National Cabinet meeting, to pause direct passenger flights between India and Australia until the 15th of May.”
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On Sunday, India recorded 352,991 cases – the worst single-day increase in any country since the pandemic began – as mass cremation sites were established in response to a mounting death toll.
There were fears for Richardson and Zampa after it was revealed Tuesday night the pair failed to beat the Australian border closure to India. Both players surrendered rich six-figure contracts to pull-out of the IPL biosecurity bubble in a desperate attempt to dash home at the last second.
They were left stranded in Mumbai and were uncertain as to whether they would be able to get home via a third destination.
The pair landed in Melbourne on Thursday afternoon, having exploited a loophole to return home via a connecting flight through Doha.
Morrison clarified in Tuesday’s announcement that the Government was advised gateway destinations, including Doha, Dubai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, had also suspended all travel to and from India, making the…