Pressure is mounting on the Morrison government to do more to help Aussies stranded in India.
India has recorded more than 370,000 new daily COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, with its medical system struggling to keep up with demands for oxygen.
Scott Morrison has defended the government’s tough travel ban on India that threatens to jail or fine returning Australians who have been in the COVID-ravaged country in the past fortnight.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on Wednesday said the government felt for citizens stuck in India under the restrictions proposed until May 15.
“We need to keep our country, as we’ve done all the way through, as COVID-free as we can,” Mr McCormack told Today.
He was also asked to confirm that authorities wouldn’t jail or fine returning Australian citizens under penalties in the Biosecurity Act.
“The Prime Minister has ruled that out,” Mr McCormack said.
But new Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews would not give that reassurance.
“The best way to avoid the prospect of any fines, any sanctions, is to not get on a plane and come here in the first instance,” Ms Andrews told ABC…