Visa Crunch

Omicron Threat: Australian Borders Will Remain Open For International Students

Despite increasing Covid-19 cases and Omicron fears, there are no border upgrades or modifications for international students and travellers in Australia.

Following the emergency cabinet committee meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on a press conference. The Prime Minister stated that they “had a positive meeting” and are “taking Omicron very seriously“.

“Omicron, we all agree, presents another new challenge, but we have faced so many challenges already during the course of this pandemic,” he said. He also added that Australians have common sense and understand what they need to do to safeguard their own health and therefore he also strongly advised them to continue wearing masks

In response to the Omicron-related surge in cases, state governments are expected to develop their own policies.

During the press conference, Morrison also discussed the timeframe between the two shots of the vaccine.“There’s been plenty of discussion about whether the interval should be five months, four months, three months, that will be a decision for the vaccination experts at ATAGI,” Morrison said.

The PM discussed testing rates and how people who are travelling put a strain on the system. As a result, he said, there was a very good discussion about the impact of public health orders in other states. There was also a healthy discussion, and a committee will provide additional guidance about whether testing is necessary at all for journeys.

He suggested that governments consider rapid antigen testing for travellers. Or governments can switch to a simpler method of RAT testing with those queues, which will make the system a lot more usable.

Western Australia’s Premier, Mark McGowan, recently announced that under an expanded mandate, more than one million workers will now be required to get booster shots. This was the first time that booster shots were discussed.

“As I’ve already mentioned, this morning, I attended the national cabinet meeting where leaders were given an updated briefing on the threat posed to all by the Omicron variant,” McGowan added. “Specifically, the third dose, which … is far more effective against the Omicron strain than two doses. Therefore, we are now announcing changes to our vaccination program.”

According to a recent survey commissioned by the Australia Airports Association (AAA), 60% of Australians polled would travel internationally if they were not required to quarantine, while only 45% intend to travel overseas.

According to AAA Chief Executive James Goodwin, while most people welcome the reopening of international borders, not everyone is “quite ready to put their money where their mouth is.”

Australians are insecure. Following the rapid outbreak of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, state and territory governments will keep their borders open.

As per the survey, 62% of respondents were “discouraged” from flying around the country due to the risk of border closures. More than half (53%) were concerned that state and territory governments would enforce a lockdown, while 49% were demotivated from travelling due to delays and cancellations, and loss of money.

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