Australia welcomes vaccinated foreign students and workers

Australia welcomes vaccinated foreign students and workers

Canberra The Australian government expects 200,000 vaccinated foreign students and skilled workers to return soon without quarantine when the country eases restrictions on the outbreak next week.

On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that from December 1, students, skilled workers and holiday travelers will be allowed to land at Sydney and Melbourne airports without having to request waivers from the travel ban.

“The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone on our way back, a major milestone in what Australians have been able to achieve and enable us to do,” Morrison said.

He said the government expected 200,000 people in both categories to arrive by January.

Nationals of Japan and South Korea who have been vaccinated will also be allowed to enter without quarantine, as will people on humanitarian visas.

But the government has not yet decided when the general tourists will be allowed to return.

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“I think the Australians are very keen to see us take this incremental approach,” Morrison said.

“They’ve been through a lot and they’ve sacrificed a lot to make sure we can open safely so we can stay open safely,” he added.

While vaccinated travelers will be able to arrive without quarantine in Australia’s most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, parts of the country with low vaccination rates still restrict the spread of the epidemic to state lines.

After a tumultuous start, the pace of vaccine rollout in Australia has accelerated. More than 85% of the population aged 16 years and over is now fully vaccinated.

Australia reopened its borders for the first time to quarantine-free travelers on November 1 after 20 months of some of the most severe pandemic restrictions adopted by any democracy. Access was first restricted to Australian citizens and permanent residents.

The first flights began in a quarantine-free travel bubble between Australia and Singapore on Sunday.

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Some Australian farmers have left fruit and vegetables to rot in the fields because nomads who provide seasonal labor for the pickers have been absent.

Backpackers were among the highest-returning visitors to Australia, spending A$3.2 billion ($2.3 billion) a year before the pandemic. They also make up a large part of the seasonal workforce, John Hart, CEO of Business Group Australia, said in a statement.

Universities Australia chief executive Katrina Jackson said her sector lost A$1.8 billion ($1.3 billion) last year due to foreign students being denied entry.

We have 130,000 students waiting to return to this country. They were very patient and very firm. Jackson told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“Some of them have just had one year left of their studies. It is really time to bring them back into the country so they can finish their studies and move on with their lives,” Jackson said.

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