Australia reopens its borders to students and skilled workers

Australia reopens its borders to students and skilled workers

MISE & Agrave; DAY

SYDNEY | Australia said on Monday it would welcome international students, skilled workers and working holiday visa holders again starting next month, easing some of the world's toughest COVID-19 restrictions. & nbsp;

Twenty months after Australia closed its borders, some visa holders, as well as Japanese and South Korean citizens, will be able to enter the territory from December 1 .

“Australia is reopening to the world,” Home Secretary Karen Andrews said in announcing the news, adding that it was “another step forward for the Australia ”. & Nbsp;

Australian citizens, visa holders and citizens of Japan, South Korea and Singapore will now be able to travel to the country with only a negative Covid-19 test before departure if vaccinated. However, some Australian states still require entry quarantine.

Scott Morrison's government lifted restrictions on overseas travel for Australians last month, sparking a boom in southern hemisphere summer bookings. & Nbsp;

But he had adamantly refused to ease restrictions on non-Australians, a move that had stranded around 1.4 million qualified visa holders in Australia, with no possibility of return if they did decide to leave the country.

Professional groups and academia have pushed for permission to re-enter visa holders with vaccines as they scramble to fill the positions and prepare to enter a third year of restrictions.

According to Universities Australia, which represents the university sector, 130,000 international students are still out of the country, raising concerns that many Asian students are choosing to study face-to-face in the United States or Europe rather than paying for online courses based in Australia.

No indication has yet been given as to the country's reopening to tourism, a blow to the hard-hit sector as visitor numbers have practically shrunk since the border closure in March 2020.

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