Australia to further ease international border restrictions

Australia will open its doors to fully vaccinated students and other eligible visa holders from the start of December.

Vaccinated tourists from South Korea and Japan as well as business visa holders and temporary working holiday visa holders will be allowed entry.

Prime minister Scott Morrison announced the news on Monday:

"The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone in our pathway back. It's a major milestone about what Australians have been able to achieve and enable us to do. It will mean a lot for the economies of our country, right around the country, who need those workers and want to see those students return."

The return of foreign students, who contribute about 25 billion US dollars a year to the economy, will be a major boon - especially to the education sector.

Australia closed its international border in May last year in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The closure led to many higher education facilities, which rely on foreign students, to lay off hundreds of staff.

Entry rules began to relax in recent weeks to allow foreign family members of citizens to enter the country.

So far, Australia has recorded around 200,000 cases and nearly 2,000 deaths, much lower than other comparable countries.

The latest announcement comes a day after a group of international students arrived in Australia from Singapore as a travel bubble between the two countries came into effect.

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