Australia Reopens Its Borders To Immigrants And International Students Amid Omicron Fears

Australia Reopens Its Borders To Immigrants And International Students Amid Omicron Fears

Australia reopened its borders to vaccinated immigrant workers and international students on Wednesday, after a nearly two-year ban, in an effort to restore an economy battered by recurrent Covid-19 lockdowns and reinstate international travel.


 Australia Reopens Its Borders To Immigrants And International Students Amid Omicron Fears

Australia reopened its borders to vaccinated immigrant workers and international students on Wednesday, after a nearly two-year ban, in an effort to restore an economy battered by recurrent Covid-19 lockdowns and reinstate international travel.

The emergence of the new Omicron strain led authorities to postpone the reopening by two weeks, as health authorities requested a brief stop to gather further data about the strain, which seems to cause less symptoms than previous Covid-19 variants.

We’re going to live with this virus, and we’re not going to let it drag us back to where we’ve been,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told radio station 4BC on Wednesday. “We’ve got one of the highest vaccination rates, which means we can fight this thing. We don’t have to surrender to it.

Source - BBC

Following the emergence of Omicron cases, Australia vaccinated approximately 90% of its population over the age of 16 with two doses and reduced the waiting time for booster vaccinations.

Morrison, who was classified as a casual contact after attending a function with a Covid-infected individual last week, claimed he had been permitted to travel domestically to Queensland after negative test results.

That’s what living with the virus is,” he said.

Australia closed its borders in March 2020 in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus and restrict the number of citizens and permanent residents permitted. The loosening of border controls is anticipated to relieve labour shortages, which are threatening to impede economic recovery.

The return of international students, who contribute around A$35 billion (RM105 billion) to the Australian economy each year, will help organisations in filling many casual posts. At the end of October, over 235,000 foreigners, including around 160,000 students, had visas to Australia, according to government statistics.

The relaxation of travel restrictions comes as the state of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, lifted the majority of restrictions on the unvaccinated on Wednesday, despite a significant rise in Omicron infections after a gradual reopening.

The state recorded 1,360 new cases, the highest daily increase in more than three months and since early October, when a nearly four-month lockdown ended. Since the pandemic started, Australia has documented around 235,500 cases and 2,117 fatalities.

Source – Malay Mail

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