Australia to welcome vaccinated foreign students and workers

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – The Australian government expects 200,000 foreign students and skilled workers vaccinated to return soon without quarantine when the country further eases pandemic restrictions next week. From Dec.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – The Australian government expects 200,000 foreign students and skilled workers vaccinated to return soon without quarantine when the country further eases pandemic restrictions next week.

From December 1, students, skilled workers and travelers on working holidays will be allowed to land at Sydney and Melbourne airports without the need to apply for a waiver of a travel ban, the Prime Minister said on Monday. Scott Morrison.

“The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major step in our return journey, it is a major step in what Australians have been able to achieve and are enabling us to do,” said Morrison.

The government expects 200,000 arrivals in both categories by January, he said.

Vaccinated citizens of Japan and South Korea will also be allowed entry without quarantine, as well as people with humanitarian visas.

But the government has yet to decide when tourists in general will be allowed to return.

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

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

While vaccinated travelers will be able to arrive without quarantine in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia’s most populous states, parts of the country with lower vaccination rates still impose pandemic restrictions at state borders .

After a difficult and shaky start, the rollout of the vaccine in Australia has accelerated. Over 85% of the population aged 16 and over is now fully vaccinated.

Australia reopened its border for the first time to travelers without a quarantine on November 1 after 20 months of some of the most draconian pandemic restrictions adopted by a democratic country. Arrivals were initially limited to Australian citizens and permanent residents.

The first flights in an Australia-Singapore travel bubble without quarantine began on Sunday.

Some Australian farmers left fruits and vegetables to rot in the fields because the backpackers who provide the seasonal labor for the pickers were absent.

Backpackers were among Australia’s top-grossing visitors, spending A $ 3.2 billion ($ 2.3 billion) a year before the pandemic. They were also a significant portion of the seasonal workforce, Business Group Australia executive director John Hart said in a statement.

Universities Australia chief executive Catrina Jackson said her industry lost A $ 1.8 billion ($ 1.3 billion) last year because international students were locked out.

“We have 130,000 students waiting to return to this country. They have been so patient and they have been so determined. They’ve been studying online for… almost two years now, ”Jackson told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“Some of them have just graduated a year. It is really time to bring them back to the country so that they can complete their education and get their lives back on track, ”Jackson said.

Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press

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