Flights from India to Australia Will Be Reduced by 30%
After New Zealand, the UK and Hong Kong, Australia have joined the countries that have imposed restrictions on international arrivals from India. This step was taken to stop a ‘double mutant’ strain of COVID-19 from spreading. The South Asian country India records the world’s highest one-day surge in infections.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the National Cabinet has agreed to temporarily reduce the number of incoming flights from India by 30 per cent after a spike in the number of infections in returned travellers. He made the announcement as the National Cabinet met for the second time last week on Thursday.
He said the reduction would apply to both the government-organised repatriation flights and commercial flights into New South Wales and added that the government will advise when the change would come into effect. “We will announce once we’re in a position to do so which shouldn’t be before too long to advise when that will take effect from,” the prime minister added.
High Risk Countries
People who have been in ‘high-risk’ countries like India will need to have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before departing to Australia;
An ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ Travel Exemption is required to fly to India and will be limited to very urgent cases such as:
- Critical work to assist the country of destination’s COVID-19 response;
- Persons undertaking travel in Australia’s national interest;
- Persons seeking urgent medical treatment for a critical illness that cannot be treated in Australia.
A business consultant who returned to Sydney in December after being stranded in India for nine months said that though the Australian government’s decision is realistic it does not safeguard the interests of citizens and permanent residents who remain stranded outside the country, miles away from their lives and livelihoods.