Aus to open borders to int'l students, skilled workers from Dec

by IANS |

Canberra, Nov 22 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday announced that his government will allow international students and skilled workers to enter the country from December to accelerate the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Morrison said that eligible visa holders who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to enter from December 1, reports Xinhua news agency.

The announcement comes after Australia's fully vaccination rate surpassed 85 per cent.

As a result, more international students, skilled migrants and refugees who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, test negative within 72 hours of departure and hold a valid visa will be allowed to enter Australia, with priority given to skilled workers to fill vacancies.

Additionally, Australia's borders will also open to all fully vaccinated travellers from Japan and South Korea on December 1.

All arrivals must comply with quarantine requirements in the state or territory they arrive in.

"From the first of December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be able to come to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption," Morrison told reporters.

"The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone in our pathway back, it's a major milestone about what Australians have been able to achieve and enabled us to do."

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the move to reopen borders to migrants would "accelerate our economic recovery by helping to address shortages in our labour market and allow businesses to expand and grow with confidence".

"As our recovery gathers pace, businesses around the country are increasingly in need of skilled workers, whether they be in hospitality, mining, construction, or professional services," he told local media.

According to the Treasurer, in the last two years before the pandemic, Australia had averaged about 110,000 skilled migrants each year, while the international student market was a significant source of income for the country.

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