Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison took back his threat to jail Australians who are traveling back from pandemic-hit India after he was criticized by citizens.
The Australian government announced last week that it will ban travelers from India from entering Australia until May 15 and that violators would face the maximum penalties of five years jail and a A$66,000 fine.
“I think the likelihood of any of that occurring is pretty much zero,” said Morrison on Tuesday.
Morrison’s response came after Australians expressed their outrage on social media.
“Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home,” said Commentator and former Test cricket star Michael Slater.
“It’s criminalizing the situation when intense empathy is required. It’s a very tough situation,” reacted Sheba Nandkeolyar, a marketing executive and national chair of Women in Business for Australia India Business Council.
Morrison defended that he did not have blood on his hands and that the government is working to bring home around 9000 Australians stranded in India.
“The buck stops here when it comes to these decisions, and I’m going to take decisions that I believe are going to protect Australia from a third wave,” said Morrison.