News

ScoMo Got Grilled On ‘Today’ And Backpedalled On His Harsh India Travel Ban Penalties

He told hosts Ali and Karl that the chance of travellers facing jail or fines are "pretty much zero".

ScoMo Today Show India

We missed you too. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter, so you always know where to find us.

Scott Morrison has flipped on the government’s assertion that anyone returning from India during the travel ban will face hefty fines or jail time, this morning.

Speaking on ‘The Today Show’, he told hosts Ali and Karl the likelihood of penalties actually being enforced is “pretty much zero”.

“These are the tools we have available to us under the Biosecurity Act, that will be used responsibly and proportionately,” he said.

“These laws have been in place under the Biosecurity Act, and the measures put in place for 14 months. No one’s gone to jail [thus far].”

Acknowledging the sanctions as extreme, he emphasised the government will keep bringing people back from India via repatriation flights after May 15.

Travellers who have passed through India, or have been outside the country for a fortnight, are currently allowed back in, the Prime Minister said.

He took the interview in Rockhampton, Queensland while attending a beef expo soundtracked by cows bellowing in the background.

Yesterday, the Australian Human Rights Commission called for the restrictions to be reviewed in a statement, and asked the government to demonstrate the floated five year prison sentence or $66,000 fine are “not discriminatory and the only suitable way of dealing with the threat to public health.”

There have been nearly 20 million confirmed cases in India, and an estimated 9,000 Australians over there at the moment.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly acknowledged last week that Australians stuck in India could die from the virus, while recommending the travel ban to Health Minister Greg Hunt.