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Borders closed to international students until states present 'satisfactory' plans

29 APR 2021

Education Minister Alan Tudge says the federal government will not consider opening up the borders to international students until the state governments present plans which satisfy and go "above and beyond" current federal quarantine criteria.

"We want to get international students back into Australia at some stage," he told Sky News host Chris Kenny.

"But we're just not in the position at the moment to open up our borders generally, let alone for international students - we have the quarantine arrangements in place primarily for returning Australians.

"I've said, the prime minister has said, if the state governments present to us plans for quarantine arrangements for international students which satisfy the criteria which we have laid out - which includes quarantine arrangements above and beyond those for returning Australia, it includes the sign off from the chief medical officer - then we will take a look at that."

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Victoria plans to bring back international students by next month

27 APR 2021

Victoria is planning to welcome back international students and workers next month under a state government plan to support its COVID-19 economic recovery.

The plan would allow the State 120 arrivals a week from the 24th May including international students and workers required for events or stage/screen productions.

The arrivals will be held in a separate hotel quarantine facility for returning Australians. .

The scheme will work under a "industry/user pays model" funded by related sectors such as tertiary institutes, screen productions and leading event organisers, supplying finance for operating expenses in a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Acting Prime Minister, James Merlino.

The cost of the quarantine scheme was "over" the $3,000 premium charged by returning Australians for one adult. By consulting industry concerned, a final fee will be set.

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Australia's COVID vaccine rollout speed needs to double for borders to reopen within a year

26 APR 2021

Australia will need to double the speed of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout in order to safely open its international border within 12 months, epidemiologists have warned.

People entering Australia from abroad have had to complete two weeks' hotel quarantine since March 2020, in a move that has seen the Lucky Country avoid the worst of the pandemic.

This week, quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand began and Qantas boss Alan Joyce has previously stated he's hoping more travel bubbles will be introduced this year.

However, two leading epidemiologists have said that's unlikely to happen, and warned the majority of Australians will need to be vaccinated before international borders can be safely reopened.

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19 APR 2021

Quarantine travel bubble opens between Australian and New Zealand

There've been hugs and tears on both sides of the Tasman today as long separated families and loved ones, were finally reunited this morning as the New Zealand Travel Bubble came to life.

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Australian states considers return of international students in 2021

18 APR 2021

New South Wales and Victoria, usually the two Australian states that host the largest cohort of international students, are drawing up plans to bring back their share of international students from their home countries where they have been stranded for months together due to the border closure of March 2020.

The New South Wales Government is planning to establish an alternative quarantine program for international students to facilitate their return in late 2021, in its latest response to the state’s tumbling revenue of its vital $14.6 billion-worth overseas education industry.

Revealing the details of the proposal, a spokesperson for NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, said that the state is developing a plan to revive the international student and education sector within the context of the current quarantine system.

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Qantas planning for October overseas flights as planes fill up

15 APR 2021

Qantas starts to take to the air and plans to restore international flights by October, but the airline remains in difficulty, CEO Alan Joyce warns.

Lockdowns in the financial year 2020 to 2021 have so far cost the airline a total of 429 million dollars, with a total of 400 million dollars as a result of closures during the peak Christmas New Year.

"The vaccination program is absolutely key to restarting international flights in and out of Australia," he said.

"While there have clearly been some speedbumps with the vaccine rollout, we are still planning for international flights to resume in late October."

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Scott Morrison says that the vaccine rollout had experienced difficulties

15 APR 2021

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison acknowledged the difficulty of the vaccination program and outlined his intention to focus on the initiative of mass vaccination clinics in States and territories to insure the full safety of Australians by the end of the year, with the overall arrival of 40 million Pfizer doses in the last quarter.

In a Perth interview, Mr. Morrison said that as soon the latest doses of the vaccine became available, he will consult with the states and territories to determine the right way for mass vaccination.

He has raised the ambition of vaccinating all Australians by the end of the year, so long as Pfizer and CSL local vaccinations in partnership with AstraZeneca have secured imported doses.

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13 APR 2021

International borders might not open fully until 2024: Deloitte

A new report by Deloitte suggests that Australians could be waiting until 2024 to properly travel overseas again and hotel quarantine will remain in place for some time.

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Australian government seeks expert medical advice on opening international borders

9 APR 2021

Mr Morrison said on Friday that the government is awaiting recommendations from a medical advisory group on the preconditions that must be met before Australia's international borders will reopen, allowing vaccinated people to go abroad and return without needing to stay in a hotel quarantine.

“That would be a significant difference in terms of the degree to which Australians returning from overseas who have had recognised vaccinations accepted here in Australia with sufficient accreditation will return to Australia on the same basis, as well as the possibility for future travel from low-risk countries with identical vaccination arrangements,” he said.

Mr Morrison went on to say that the popularity of the Trans-Tasman travel bubble would pave the way for other countries to join Australia in creating secure travel zones.

"I've listed Singapore as an obvious next destination before, but it's still a long way off at this point." The message from National Cabinet is that we want to open up further, but we want to do so safely, with less controls, and in a clear manner around the country...” he said.

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Australia and New Zealand to start quarantine-free travel in April

6 APR 2021

Australian and New Zealand residents will be able to travel between the two nations without having to quarantine from 19 April. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the move on Tuesday.

Since October, New Zealand travellers have been allowed to enter most Australian states without quarantine, though this had not been reciprocated.

Both nations have since contained Covid outbreaks and kept infection rates near zero. The countries shut their borders in March last year and brought in compulsory quarantine for returning nationals. When outbreaks have emerged, both Australia and New Zealand have instated lockdowns to halt the virus from spreading.

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Students will not be back until 2022

31 MAR 2021

The Australian government drops major hint about when international borders will open as Education Minister is expected to announce foreign students will be back in the start of 2022.

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Brisbane enters snap three-day lockdown

29 MAR 2021

Following the discovery of four new locally-acquired coronavirus outbreaks, a number of states have closed their borders to Queenslanders. Greater Brisbane has been put under a three-day lockdown.

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Easing of restrictions in NSW

29 MAR 2021

Effective 29 March 2021, the number of people allowed to visit at home or gather outdoors has increased. The capacity for businesses and venues has been increased and entertainment venues can operate at 100 percent seated capacity. Restrictions on singing, dancing and nightclubs have been lifted.

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International flights into Melbourne to resume after Easter

25 MAR 2021

Initially, Victoria will take 800 passengers a week before increasing to 1,120 people.

Acting Premier James Merlino said Victoria would advocate to National Cabinet for a "small proportion" of those passengers to be set aside for "economic cohorts".

He said that might involve around 120 places a week to cover things like international film crews, workers needed for energy and infrastructure projects, or international students.

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Australia looking for ways to allow foreign students to return

24 MAR 2021

Australia is desperately exploring ways to reboot its international education sector, including allowing vaccinated students from Singapore to re-enter or creating special student-only flights and quarantine facilities.

The country's international student sector was worth about A$40 billion in 2019, making it the fourth-biggest export. But the Covid-19 pandemic has caused incoming student numbers to plunge.

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Australia needs temporary visa holders back "as soon as possible."

18 MAR 2021

Australia's newly-appointed Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says the government is planning to allow migrants and visitors back into the country as soon as possible. In an interview with SBS News, Mr Hawke discussed the impacts of COVID-19 on migration and post-pandemic Australia.

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Travel Bubble: Australia-Singapore

14 MAR 2021

Australian and Singapore governments are currently in talks to negotiate a travel bubble between the two countries, which could be in affect by July at the earliest.

Under the plan, vaccinated Australians and Singaporeans would be able to travel freely for work, study or holiday purposes without the mandated two-week hotel quarantine.

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Borders to remain closed to international students

5 MAR 2021

Dashing hopes of thousands of international students and other temporary visa holders who remain locked outside Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison today said opening the country’s international borders at this time would not be considered “safe or wise.”

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International border ban extended until June

3 MAR 2021

International borders will remain closed for at least another three months despite more than 40,000 Australians who remain stranded across the globe due to COVID-19.

The latest extension means Australia's borders will have been closed to the world for 15 months.

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'No jab, no fly'

26 NOV 2020

Aviation and travel industry leaders say mandatory COVID-19 immunisation and "vaccination passports" will be the key to Australia reopening its borders to most of the world for quarantine-free travel.

The recent success of three potential COVID-19 vaccines has raised hopes of resuming international travel, with Qantas boss Alan Joyce saying this week his airline would make proof of vaccination a requirement for all passengers flying to or from Australia.

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Australia to ease border limits

28 SEP 2020

Scott Morrison has said that the number of citizens allowed to return home each week will be increased to 6,000 people.

Morrison said states have agreed to boost quarantine capacity and that the cap on the number of people allowed into Australia each week will increase by 2,000 by mid-October. The country’s weekly limit is currently set at 4,000 people.

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Exemption from work limit for International Students

23 APR 2020

International students studying relevant medical courses will be exempt from the usual 40-hour per fortnight work limit, if they are working in support of coronavirus health efforts and at the direction of the relevant health authority. International students currently working for registered disability service providers will also be exempt.

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New arrangements for arrivals from overseas

27 MAR 2020

The National Cabinet has directed that as soon as possible, and no later than 11.59pm (AEDST) on 28 March, 2020, all travellers entering Australia will be required to undertake their mandatory 14 day self-isolation at designated facilities.

These facilities will be determined by each state and territory and may be hotels.

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Australian Borders Closed

20 MAR 2020

Australia is closing its borders to all non-citizens and non-residents.

The entry ban takes effect from 9pm AEDT Friday, 20 March 2020, with exemptions only for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, including spouses, legal guardians and dependants.

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International Students to fill staff shortage in aged care

18 MAR 2020

Aged care providers will temporarily be able to offer more hours to international students to ensure the care of senior and vulnerable Australians, as part of the campaign to combat the impact of coronavirus.

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WHO declares Coronavirus as pandemic

11 MARCH 2020

Coronavirus has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The announcement came as new figures from Italy showed the death rate among coronavirus patients in that country was more than 6 per cent, higher than the global average of about 3.6 per cent.

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