International Arrivals for Students and Visa Holders Postponed as Federal Government Await Information on the COVID-19 Omicron Variant

International Arrivals for Students and Visa holders Postponed as Federal Government Await Information on the COVID-19 Omicron Variant

Just as international students, skilled migrants and humanitarian, working holiday maker and family visa holders anticipated being able to enter Australia as soon as this Wednesday, the federal government has decided to postpone the easing of border restrictions to December 15 in response to the new Omicron variant.

The Omicron variant was first reported to the WHO by South Africa earlier this month and is currently undergoing scientific research to determine if it poses a greater threat than Delta.

According to the National Security Committee, this postponement will allow the government to gather information to understand the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 and access if it poses a greater threat than the Delta variant. This includes assessing the efficacy of the vaccine, range of illness and the level of transmission.

In response to the new variant, the Commonwealth on Saturday banned non-citizens from the following nine countries from entering Australia: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi and Mozambique.

Additionally, New South Wales and Victoria are requiring all Australian returning from overseas to isolate for 72 hours, while other states have mandated 14 days of managed quarantine for international arrivals.

Currently, Australia’s international border remains closed to travellers except for fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family in addition to fully vaccinated “green lane” travellers from New Zealand and Singapore and limited exemptions.

For the latest information on travel restrictions and exemptions, please refer to Home Affairs website. To check quarantine arrangements, see State and Territory Information for travellers

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility to travel to Australia, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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