Hermit nation: Australia locks out its citizens in extreme new COVID policy

Five years jail and a $51,000 fine: that’s the price Australian citizens can expect to pay if they’ve been in India and try to board a flight home to Australia in coming weeks... Critics of the new policy say that instead of rescuing stranded Australians their government is abandoning them, in breach of its obligation under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that "no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his [or her] own country." While many countries have placed restrictions on foreign arrivals during Covid, the University of Canberra’s Kim Rubenstein, Australia’s leading citizenship law expert, told POLITICO that “no other democratic country has placed such extreme measures on its citizens.” Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner, Edward Santow, emphatically told local television that “people have a right to return to their own country.”