Aussies could face hefty fines and jail time for returning home from India, under strict new travel restrictions.
On Saturday, Health Minister Greg Hunt announced a "temporary pause" on travellers who have been in India within 14 days of their arrival date into Australia.
The temporary travel ban will come into effect on Monday and will be reviewed on May 15.
Under the Biosecurity Act, those who breach the ban could receive the maximum penalty of a five-year jail sentence or a $66,000 fine.
"The government does not make these decisions lightly," Hunt said.
"However, it is critical that the integrity of the Australian public health and quarantine systems is protected and the number of COVID-19 cases in quarantine facilities is reduced to a manageable level."
About 9,000 Australians are currently estimated to be in India.
What has been said about the India travel ban?
Following the announcement, Human Rights Watch has hit back at the government's decision, labelling it an "outrageous response".
Elaine Pearson, the Australia director at Human Rights Watch, said "Australians have a right to return to their own country".
"The government should be looking for ways to safely quarantine Australians returning from India, instead of focusing their efforts on prison sentences and harsh punishments for people who are facing desperate conditions and simply trying to return home," Pearson said in a statement shared on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has defended the ban, saying that the "drastic" move is designed "to keep Australians safe".
"We have taken drastic action to keep Australians safe, and what we face in India is a very serious situation where the medical advice provided to the federal government has been to put in place these strict measures," he said on Saturday.