Karl Stefanovic and Ali Langdon call Scott Morrison ‘heartless’ for banning Aussies from returning from India – but the PM admits no-one’s going to get fined or jailed
- Scott Morrison entered a debate with Karl Stefanovic and Ali Langdon Tuesday
- Appearing on the Today show, the Prime Minister addressed the India flight ban
- He admitted it was ‘unlikely’ anyone would be fined or jailed for returning home
- Stefanovic and Langdon accused Mr Morrison of ‘shifting’ from early statements
Karl Stefanovic and Ali Langdon have gotten into a fierce debate with Scott Morrison over his decision to ban Aussie citizens stranded in Covid-ravaged India from returning to Australia.
Australians fines of $66,000 or five years in jail if they return home from the south east Asian nation, where 300,000 new cases of Covid were recorded on Monday alone.
Mr Morrison on Tuesday denied he has risked the lives of stranded Australians, but admitted it’s ‘highly unlikely’ anyone flying home from India will go on to be jailed or fined.
When asked directly by Today show host Karl Stefanovic if people would face the full force of the harsh measures, the prime minister shifted the responsibility to Border Force officials.
Scott Morrison has defended his to ban Australians from returning home from India during a fierce debate with Today show hosts Karl Stefanovic and Ali Langdon on Tuesday (pictured)
‘I would expect the Australian Border Force officials to deal with the issue sensitively and within their authorities, but I’m not going to tie their hands about how they do that,’ he said.
‘I think it’s important not to sensationalise this.’
Stefanovic accused Mr Morrison of ‘shifting’ away from what he originally said over the weekend about Australians being fined or thrown in jail if they fly home from India.
‘No, Karl we haven’t had a shift. How you are reporting it is a shift,’ the prime minister hit back.
Stefanovic responded: ‘I’m sorry, didn’t you have a press conference over the weekend where you stipulated that Australians coming home, if they violated that rule would be thrown in jail or fined? Did you not say that?’
Mr Morrison defended his ban on flights from India, saying the measures are in the interests of Australians.
Stefanovic accused Mr Morrison of ‘shifting’ away from what he originally said over the weekend about Australians being fined or thrown in jail if they fly home from India
‘If we had not put these measures in place and we saw the rates of increase of the virus coming through on these flights, putting stress on our quarantine system, breaking out across the country and seeing a third wave,’ he said.
Co-host Allison Langdon questioned Mr Morrison’s confidence in the nation’s hotel quarantine system given his fears of it not being able to cope if borders with India were to be opened.
‘The quarantine system has proved one of the most effective if not the most effective in the world,’ he said.
‘What we’re seeing in India, even in COVID terms, is unprecedented and so every system is going to face its stressors and I’m not going to break the system.’