Australia’s latest movement fits a pattern. The island has maintained some of the toughest border measures in the world since the start of the pandemic. No one can leave the country without official government permission. Coming home, even from a country with declining infection rates, often seems to require government connections, celebrity status or luck, as well as $ 30,000 for a plane ticket. one way ticket.
There are approximately 35,000 Australians abroad who were unable to make the trip, either because they were unable to secure seats on the repatriation flights or because they were unable to make the trip. afford the tickets.
In India’s case, Australia’s already opaque, uneven and selective policy – based in part on how many people can be moved for a 14-day hotel quarantine – has become absolute. It means keeping thousands of Australians in a place where the number of coronavirus cases has skyrocketed; where hospitals are running out of beds, ventilators and medical oxygen; and where the crematoriums burn day and night in the midst of a deluge of bodies.
Australian officials said the new restrictions – with sentences of up to five years in prison and nearly A $ 60,000 ($ 46,300) in fines under Australia’s biosecurity law – would prevent its hotel quarantine system to be overwhelmed.
“Fifty-seven percent of the positive cases in quarantine were from India,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Sunday. “It placed a very, very significant burden on health and medical services in the states and territories.”
But for Australians in India, politics equates to a staggering lack of concern.
“I thought our passports would take care of us,” said Emily McBurnie, an Australian wellness coach stranded in New Delhi since March 2020 and living with Covid-19 for more than a month. She said the Australian government owed its citizens more and added that if her health deteriorated, she feared she would not have access to oxygen or an intensive care bed.