Five years in prison in Australia for sending masks to China

In an effort to reduce the shortage of key means of preventing the spread of the new type of coronavirus, Australian authorities have banned its shipment abroad. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, this is especially true for shipments to China.

Medical masks as well as hand-sanitizing gels have been banned. Those who violate this requirement face serious financial penalties, as well as real prison sentences of up to 5 years.

“We are taking steps in Australia’s interest to stop the unauthorized and inappropriate export of items that our medical system now needs,” said Commerce and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham. He also explained that the Australian authorities are in constant contact with overseas colleagues to find logistics solutions and availability of the required medical positions.

It is noted that the decision to punish those who export masks and other items to China is partly due to the behavior of a local company.

According to the authorities, Greenland Australia, in which the Chinese capital is also involved, sent to Shanghai 10 thousand masks, 30 thousand protective coats and 68 thousand disposable gloves. The Australian government does not specify that the deliveries were made in January-February, in the midst of the epidemic in China. Also the authorities have not explained the reason why the ban affected not only legal entities, but also individuals.

At the same time, another story unfolds in the port of Melbourne – port workers refuse to unload a container ship arriving in the country from China, onboard which there are more than 2,000 containers with medical masks, canned goods, and toilet paper. The media report that the company responsible for unloading the ship has already fired 60 of the refusals. The workers can be understood because the ship entered the port and became on unloading actually did not meet the same requirements that apply to civil vessels, the same luxury liners.

The ship’s crew was not quarantined and did not undergo a medical examination. That is, in the absence of measures and clear explanations of the protocols by the authorities, the movers themselves made the most logical decision in this situation – not to come into contact with either the cargo or the crew. The Union of Port Workers together with other organizations intends to challenge the dismissal in court.