Australia to opens borders to students, visa holders, some travelers

Sydney, Australia, Nov 22 (EFE).- Australia will next week allow entry to fully vaccinated international students, eligible visa holders and travelers from Japan and South Korea, the government announced Monday.

“From the 1st of December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be able to come to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption. Eligible visa holders, including skilled and student cohorts, as well as humanitarian, temporary, working holiday maker and provisional family visa holders,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a press conference in Canberra.

“The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone in our pathway back,” he added.

The measure is good news for Australian universities, which depend on international enrollment and estimate that there are some 130,000 foreign students waiting to resume their studies, as well as for sectors that depend on skilled workers and foreign labor.

Morrison expects some 200,000 eligible people to enter the country between December and January.

“Australia will also welcome back fully vaccinated citizens from Japan and Korea,” he added.

The exemption applies to all travelers, including tourists, for a travel bubble that since Sunday also applies to travelers from Singapore.

To enter Australia, travelers must present their vaccination certificate, a negative PCR test result taken within three days prior to departure, and comply with the additional requirements of the regions of the country.

Since April, Australia has operated a quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand, although it has been suspended on several occasions due to outbreaks of Covid-19.

The new measures take place as part of the reopening of international borders, after almost 18 months of being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Australia, which has fully vaccinated more than 85 percent of its target population of a total of 25 million, continues to struggle with cases of Covid-19 in the states of Victoria and New South Wales, as well as among indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country, which this weekend was the scene of protests against mandatory vaccines for certain sectors and measures against Covid-19, has accumulated more than 198,500 cases, including about 1,950 deaths, and has 12,600 active infections. EFE


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