Professor Kelly said the government was “absolutely committed” to rethinking the flight ban come May 15.
“Terrible scenes in India and we certainly have great empathy for Indian-Australians who are now stuck there for the time being, but also their families here in Australia and we are really committed to getting them back after that pause,” he said.
While infections are likely to continue to skyrocket in India, Professor Kelly said factors on lifting the flight ban also depended on how much pressure was on Australia’s quarantine system.
“It is not only what is happening in India but it is also what that was bringing into the country in terms of the stress on our hotel quarantine system, and particularly in Howard Springs where over 70 per cent of the positive cases in Howard Springs had come from Indian flights,” he said.
“So they reached a point where they literally could not take any more positive cases. So that was why we really needed to act in relation to this. But it is a temporary pause.”