From 1 December 2021, Australia will welcome fully vaccinated eligible visa holders without the need for a travel exemption. Upwards of 200,000 people are expected to enter the country over the summer under the new rules.
As Australia begins to reopen after almost two years of tight border restrictions, the Prime Minister’s announcement means good news for a variety of people hoping to enter the country. From international students to skilled migrants and refugees, Scott Morrison has announced that next month will mark the next step in reopening.
The arrival of international students and eligible skilled workers is hoped to bring a much-needed boost to the economy, says Scott Morrison.
Fully vaccinated Australian visa-holders from Japan and South Korea will also be welcomed without the need for a travel exemption or quarantine.
The announcement comes one month after Australia opened borders to fully vaccinated Australians and permanent residents.
“We said, ‘let’s get Australians home first,’ and that’s been occurring, and so from next month we will welcome back students and start looking to the skilled workers that are needed to ensure we are able to take full advantage of the economic recovery that we are working to secure,” said Mr Morrison.
“In order to access the new provisions, travellers will need to be fully vaccinated, and they will need to present a negative PCR test taken within three days prior to their departure,” said Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.
December will also mark the beginning of a travel bubble with Japan and South Korea.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the changes will be meaningful in stimulating the economy.
“It’s the natural next step following the announcements we’ve already made around citizens and permanent residents coming back without the need for quarantine, we’ve got the bubble with Singapore, the natural next step is skilled workers and international students,” said Mr Frydenberg.
“Both skilled workers and international students play an essential role in our economy. We know international students are worth $40 billion, and we know there are work skill shortages about there, and skilled workers can play a role.”
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham encouraged international students to plan to return back to university and classes in 2022.
“We would be encouraging them to make their plans, and to be back here to give that lift to universities and to the many other parts of our economy that have benefited so much from international students over the years,” he said.
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