Australia Government Bans International Students And Visa Holders For Two Weeks

International students banned from entering Australia for at least another two weeks are being instructed to “hang in there” after the federal government postponed its reopening plan in response to the new Omicron strain of COVID-19.

According to the news reports of SBS From Wednesday, Fully vaccinated international students, skilled migrants and humanitarian visa holders were due to restart returning to Australia. The move, announced on Monday night on advice from Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly, will see Australia’s reopening to international skilled and student visa holders, as well as humanitarian, working holiday and provisional family visa holders, delayed until 15 December.

The reopening to travellers from Japan and South Korea will also be paused until 15 December.

“The temporary pause will ensure Australia can gather the information we need to better understand the Omicron variant, including the efficacy of the vaccine, the range of illness, including if it may generate more mild symptoms, and the level of transmission,” a government statement said

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called a meeting of the national cabinet for Tuesday to further discuss the Omicron variant and Australia’s response.

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“Australians can be assured that we are in a strong position to deal with COVID and its emerging challenges,” the government’s statement said.

“We will continue to take sensible and responsive evidence-based action, led by medical experts. This will ensure we can open safely, and stay safely open as we learn to live with the virus.”

The Australian Border Force will retain control to allow people already in transit to enter Australia, the statement said, but they will be subject to state-based isolation provisions. All international arrivals in New South Wales and Victoria must quarantine at home for 72 hours. In other states, 14 days of managed quarantine is required, and traveller cap arrangements are in place.

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Not only this, the government on the weekend temporarily prohibited non-citizens from nine countries in southern Africa from entering Australia. Also, Seychelles has now been withdrawn from that list.

Earlier on Monday, Health Minister Greg Hunt said, “We will allow them to act independently and continue to follow their advice but we’re prepared with supplies.”

He further added, “We are already one of the earliest nations in the world, after Israel, to have a whole-of-nation booster program. If they recommend changes, we will follow those changes.”

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Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud urged people not to panic because the rise of new variants was inevitable. “We are going to have to open up and we’re going to have to learn to live with this and the variants that will come,” he told the news report. “We can’t panic. We need to work through this with science, not emotion.”

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