After practising strict travel regulations and restrictions for two long years now, Australia has opened its international borders to unvaccinated students. International students are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for entry into Australia from 6 July.
Last week, in a press statement, Health Minister Mark Butler said that the Australian government made this decision after looking into the latest medical advice. However, wearing masks will still be mandatory for travellers in both national and international travellers.
“The Chief Medical Officer has advised it is no longer necessary for travellers to declare their vaccine status as part of our management of COVID,” he said. “Unvaccinated Australians, as well as certain groups of visa holders, have been able to travel to Australia for some time. We will continue to act on the medical advice as needed.”
“As more and more of us travel internationally and we get more confident in managing our risk of Covid our airports are getting busier,” said Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil in a press statement. “Removing these requirements will not only reduce delays in our airports but will encourage more visitors and skilled workers to choose Australia as a destination.”
Even though students are exempted from vaccination, they have to give a declaration of their vaccination status by filling out a complete Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) upon arrival in the country. Also, they will have to go through a long and difficult process.
The real issue was the visa backlog, which has been affecting the country’s skill shortages. To address this issue, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had recently announced that lifting the border restrictions will navigate the country towards COVID-normal.
As reported by News.com.au, a number of teachers and administrative staff in South Australia had to quit and thousands were suspended for refusing to get vaccinated. It is expected for them to return to their jobs from 18 July 2022 onwards with the revoke of COVID laws.
Removing the vaccination mandate will also draw international students to the land, where they can take advantage of the high-quality education in the country and contribute to the skill market.
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