Australian government announces reopening of borders for students, workers

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Australian government announces reopening of borders for students, workers

Countries around the world are slowly coming to terms with the post-pandemic reality. Australia, too, is one among these countries. Considered to be one of the few nations that handled the Covid-19 pandemic well, Australia’s now going to relax its strict border rules put in place to tackle the pandemic.

Come December, Australia will allow those with valid visas to re-enter the country. This includes students, refugees and those possessing working and business visas. The Australian government’s taken this decision in an attempt to kick start the country’s economy.

Speaking with the press in the national capital, Canberra, Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister said, “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”.

Australian government announces reopening of borders for students, workers

According to statistical estimates, external students contribute to around $25 billion to the national economy. Around 160,000 had student visas for universities in the country at the end of October 2021, according to data provided by the Australian government.

In terms of total enrollment, 21% of the total student enrolment in the universities there came by way of non-Australian students. The closure of the educational institutes in the country also had a cumulative effect that led to several scores of people – who work there – losing their jobs.

Overall, too, the returning of those with work-related visas will ensure that the shortfall of labour that had plagued the country since it shut its borders in 2020. Following this decision, the Australian government said that it expected around 200,000 people to return to the country next month.

Meanwhile, even as this happens, the Australian borders continue to remain closed in the states of New South Wales and Victoria. Both of these states are currently experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases. The Victorian state government has also announced that the 2022 Australian Open in Melbourne will only have players who are fully vaccinated.