- The National Cabinet agreed on Friday to halve the number of international arrivals to Australia:
- International arrivals will reduce from 6,370 down to 3,035 people per week by 14 July 2021.
- This will be in place until at least the start of 2022 unless medical advice recommends otherwise.
- Commercial flights will be cut, however, repatriation flights will increase to bring Australians home.
- Plans underway for international students, actors, major event workers to enter Victoria
What is the 4 – phase plan?
This is an initiative to gradually transition from the current phase of focusing on suppressing transmission of the virus, to focusing on the prevention of serious illness, hospitalization, and deaths.
Phase 1: Vaccination, Preparation, and Trial
This is the phase we are in now. Lockdowns may be announced but only as a last option. The international arrivals cap will be brought down to 50% to reduce the pressure on the hotel quarantine system caused by the Delta variant.
Phase 2: Post-vaccination Process
In this phase the restrictions on international arrivals will be restored to current levels for unvaccinated passengers and a lesser restriction will be imposed on the fully vaccinated passengers. Lockdowns and border closures will be rare due to fully vaccinated people. More students and economic visitors will be let in.
Phase 3: Solidification Process
Fully vaccinated Australians would be able to travel abroad. Lockdowns, the cap on returning vaccinated travelers, and domestic restrictions for vaccinated residents—will not be there. Covid would be treated more like the flu, presumably with annual booster shots to cover new variants.
More international students, still capped, would be allowed in. Probably, it will be the second half of 2022 when we reach Phase 3.
Phase 4: Destination or Goal
Life is expected to have returned to normalcy in this phase. However, there would still be pre-and post-flight Covid testing for unvaccinated arrivals and a vaccine passport system is likely.
What will happen to International Students and Working Holiday Visa Holders (417)?
Those students who have not left Australia can stay in the country provided they have a valid visa. For those students who have left the country and the aspiring new international students, the story is different. In the second and the third phase more international students will be let inside the country.
Meantime, Victoria has decided to welcome back international students and workers next month under a state government plan to support its COVID-19 economic recovery.
As per the proposal, the state would accept 120 arrivals per week from May 24, including overseas students and workers required for major events or stage/screen productions. All that international students and the holiday visa holders (417) can do now is waiting till the third phase patiently with faith and hope.
For more information email [email protected]fo.com
More info: ozvisainfo.com
More info: immi.homeaffairs.gov.au