The Federal and Australian Capital Territory governments have shown green signal to open the border for International Students . As a result, the first charter flights carrying 350 international students is going to land on Canberra next month.
It will be the first arrivals of non-citizens since Australia closed its border in March to control the spread of Covid-19. However, the border was opened for citizens and permanent residents. But in order to enter the country, they must go into mandatory quarantine in a hotel for two weeks.
Under this new plan, the governments would bring the foreign students through chartered flight from a major travel hub in Asia. However, they also have to go through 14 days of isolation.
In addition, they will be tested for coronavirus both at the beginning and the end of their isolation days. They will be allowed to resume their studies if only the test comes negative. The cost will be shared between universities and the ACT government.
On top of this, strict health protocol would be followed for the safety of community.
Under this first stage, up to 350 students, who have previously studied in Australian National University and the University of Canberra will be allowed to enter Australia. The universities will give preference to older students, who were already enrolled or in their final year of degree.
Why Only 350 International Students?
Paddy Nixon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra, said this will be an experiment to develop right process and protocol for the safety of community before reopening recruitment for next semester in 2021.
Australia generate billions of dollars each year through international students. However, corona virus pandemic have forced Australia to close its border for international students.
Nevertheless, government and universities are planning to bring large number of international students after the success of this pilot program.
Australia’s international borders are expected to stay close to tourists for the rest of the year.