Queensland’s borders are set to reopen to “domestic hotspots” beginning at 01:00 a.m. on December 13, 2021, according to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“It is clear we will reach our target of 80% fully vaccinated much sooner although exactly when is difficult to predict. Nominating a time and date provides travellers and businesses with certainty to make their plans and comes four days early”, Palaszczuk said during a press briefing on December 6.
International travellers must be fully vaccinated and provide a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure, be required to have a test on arrival, and be quarantined for 14 days at home or in a hotel starting 13 December 2021. The press release makes no mention of the number of international students who will be arriving.
Australia’s Health Minister, Greg Hunt, previously stated that he cannot promise that Australia’s border will reopen to overseas students and visa holders in mid-December. “I’m certainly not making any guarantees,” Hunt told Sky News when asked if the pause on international arrivals would definitely end after December 15. “It’s our intention at the end of that period, subject to the science and medical advice, to return to the previous settings. It will depend on the international evidence.”
Following concerns about the Omicron version, the government declared on November 29 that it would postpone the reopening of its borders from December 1 to 15. International students who have been given an exemption under a state or territory’s International Student Arrivals Plan will be eligible to travel to Australia.
The National Cabinet and the National Federation Reform Council are set to meet again on December 10, and more information on the border reopening may be provided at that time.
As per the current information for international students, the level of uncertainty in Australia has increased. Hunt stated at a press conference in Melbourne on December 5 that 15 Covid-19 with Omicron cases had been identified in Australia, while others were still being investigated. “According to our most recent advice, I believe 41 countries have discovered the variant,” he stated.
According to reports, many overseas students in Australia are deciding to study somewhere else with open borders, while others will relocate countries if Australia’s borders do not open on December 15, Badri Aryal, director of Expert Education, told SBS News that many students have already given up on Australia.
The company, situated in Sydney, specializes in bringing overseas students to the country. “We cooperate with numerous countries throughout the world,” Aryal was quoted as saying, “but when I look at India, over 60% of students who were going to come to Australia are now moving to the UK, Canada, or the US.”
According to the research, data provided earlier this year by the Department of Education, Skills, and Employment indicated institutions across Australia witnessed a dramatic decrease in enrolments and course commencements in 2021.