Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt speaks to the media during a press conference in Melbourne, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (AAP Image/Luis Ascui) NO ARCHIVING
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Government slammed for ‘outrageous’ and ‘un-Australian’ move criminalising travel from India

The federal government has been heavily criticised for its move to temporarily criminalise Australians returning home from COVID-ravaged India.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has called on the government to prove its decision to fine or jail Australians is “not discriminatory”.

It says it holds deep concerns about the “extraordinary” new restrictions.

Human Rights Watch, meanwhile, has described the move as “outrageous”.

Travellers from India have been blocked from entering Australia until at least 15 May, when the decision will be re-assessed.

Indirect routes via Doha, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore have also been closed off, as the daily tally of COVID-19 cases in India tops 400,000.

Health Minister Greg Hunt says anyone attempting to defy the rules will be hit with fines of up to $66,600, five years in prison, or both.

More than 9,000 Australians in India are registered as wanting to return, including 650 considered vulnerable.

“The need for such restrictions must be…

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