Travel loophole to Australia from India slammed shut


The Prime Minister has vowed to slam shut travel loopholes allowing passengers from the coronavirus-plagued subcontinent to fly into Australia.

Scott Morrison said his government moved swiftly to stop one of the loopholes in Qatar after Aussie cricketers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson landed in Australia on Thursday afternoon after choosing to exit the Indian Premier League cricket tournament early.

They arrived in Melbourne on a flight from Doha.

This comes despite Australia slamming its border shut to India until May 15 in a bid to stop the virus spreading into the Australian community.

India’s healthcare system is at breaking point with millions of infections raging across the subcontinent – the country recorded 379,459 COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

“This was one (loophole) that became apparent to us on Wednesday, we have since closed it off at 7pm on Wednesday – the cricketers got away just before that,” Mr Morrison told 2GB on Friday morning.

“We had information on Monday that wasn’t possible … I’m advised there is a 14-day requirement when someone goes into Doha, but that wasn’t being applied to transit passengers.”

Mr Morrison said his government would be taking “more action” on transit passengers later on Friday when he speaks to the premiers at national cabinet.

“We’ve already directly dealt with the airlines in Qatar and so those transit passengers – the airlines advised us – are no longer coming through from Doha,” he said.

“The places they are potentially coming from are Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and our advice is that those routes are closed off.

“I propose to take further action today which will be done under the biosecurity act.”



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