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Australia to reopen borders to foreign students, workers
Published on: 2021-11-24
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Australia announced on Monday that it will reopen to foreign students and skilled workers from December, easing some of the world's most stringent COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions.

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

The government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison lifted restrictions on Australians traveling overseas in October, sparking a flood of travel bookings for the southern hemisphere summer.

But Morrison had pointedly refused to relax travel rules for most non-Australians.

That decision left an estimated 1.4 million skilled visa holders stuck in Australia due to the pandemic, unable to return if they decided to leave.

Business groups had lobbied hard for vaccinated visa holders to be allowed to return, as they struggle to fill jobs and gird for the beginning of a third year of restrictions.

Among those most vocal in calling for rules to be further relaxed was the beleaguered university sector.

While some Australian states still require quarantine, vaccinated Australians, some visa holders and citizens of Japan, South Korea and Singapore will now be able to visit Australia with only a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test.




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