Former Australian cricketer Michael Slater said Prime Minister Scott Morrison had “blood on his hands” because of the travel ban between India and Australia which came into effect on Monday.
Australia has threatened to jail anyone entering the country who was in India for the previous 14 days, including its own citizens. Travelers face up to five years in prison and fines of up to A $ 66,600 ($ 51,500).
In one Twitter message On Monday, Slater said: “If our government cared about the safety of Australians, it would allow us to return home. It’s a shame !! Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about fixing the quarantine system. “
Slater was in India as a commentator for the Indian Premier League of Cricket when the ban went into effect, according to CNN affiliate Seven News.
The new measures have sparked widespread outrage from human rights activists, Indian Australians and even politicians from Morrison’s own party.
A prominent Conservative columnist said the ban “stinks of racism.”
PM’s reaction: Morrison told Australia’s Nine Network it was “absurd” to say he had blood on his hands.
“We have put in place a temporary hiatus because we have seen a rapid escalation in the rate of infection in people who have traveled outside of India, which is putting enormous strain on our system,” he said. declared.
Facing criticism of his new measures, Morrison said there was “virtually no chance” that Australians would actually be charged under the ban.
“We will use the measures at our disposal, we will use them with compassion, equitably and responsibly, as we have demonstrated for over a year,” he said.
Difficult entry measurements: According to the federal government, around 9,000 Australian citizens in India are registered as wishing to return to Australia.
Only Australian citizens, permanent residents and those traveling from New Zealand can enter Australia, with a few exceptions. All arrivals must pass 14 days in state-managed quarantine upon entering the country.