New South Wales (NSW) will no longer need fully vaccinated international students to be quarantined when they return to the state from next month. International students arriving in New South Wales will no longer be compelled to isolate, saving them two weeks of downtime and the necessity to pay A$9,000 ($6,601) in quarantine fees per person.
Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, and Covishield are among the current TGA-approved vaccinations. On December 6, the first chartered plane carrying returning overseas students under the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan is set to land in Sydney. The first flight will transport 250 students from more than 15 countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, China, and Canada. A second flight will transport students from India and other South Asian countries.
Students who have been double-vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccination will not be required to stay in isolation after landing. According to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, foreign education is critical in connecting NSW to the rest of the world, with around 290,000 students studying here prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, sustaining more than 95,000 full-time jobs. “This is a significant milestone in our roadmap to recovery and I can’t wait to welcome back such an important part of our community,” Perrottet said. “They don’t just make a significant contribution to our economy, but international students play a role in our culture and contribute to our community and lifestyle.”
The Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism, and Western Sydney, as well as Minister for Trade and Industry, stated that students will need Commonwealth Government authorization to travel to Australia. “I welcome continued collaboration with the Commonwealth Government in supporting international students as they return to NSW,” Ayres said. “This sends a clear message about how much NSW values our international students.” The pilot plan’s phased strategy will be used for student travel to NSW. Scape Redfern will continue to be the accommodation partner for returning international students.
CEO of the Overseas Education Association of Australia (IEAA), Phil Honeywood, tweeted: “If one state (NSW) in Australia is now pledging NO quarantine for international students, then every other state should do the same NOW!” After all, we are one country, not eight different countries!”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was looking forward to the homecoming of Indian students to the Australian Indian Community Centre in Rowville, Victoria. “We’ve recognized, of course, the many Indian manufactured vaccines, through the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and that will be facilitating the return of Indian students and Indian travellers to Australia, I think soon,” PM Morrison said.