A legal expert says the Morrison government’s new crackdown on returning Australians in India is potentially “discriminatory” and may constitute a breach of the law.
Health Minister Greg Hunt last week announced a “temporary pause” on travellers who have visited India within 14 days of their intended arrival date in Australia.
Failing to comply with the emergency determination under section 477 of the Biosecurity Act, which came into effect at 12.01am Monday, could attract a $66,600 fine or a five-year jail term.
No such measure has been applied by the government to any other international COVID-19 hotspot so far.
Greg Barns, national spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance, described the measures as “draconian”.
“The measures do not take into account the individual circumstances of people who are returning from India – whether they’ve had COVID-19, how long they were in India,” he told SBS News.
“What Section 477 of the Biosecurity Act says is that, before the…