DAILY TELEGRAPH is reporting that plans to facilitate the return of foreign university students, potentially ahead of other international visitors, are well underway, with expert health advice already prepared for the National Cabinet to consider.
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan said the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee was focused on how to securely allow international students into Australia without spreading COVID-19.
“(That) will be considered along with a range of other aspects as we roll back some of the restrictions we have seen in recent weeks,” she said.
Ms McMillan said the decision to allow overseas students into Australia was “ultimately” up to National Cabinet.
“We know the importance of international students to their education and our economy, but that will be made considering the impact that might have on the spread of COVID-19,” she said.
Education Minister Dan Tehan flagged the government was considering a special exemption for international students, who contribute more than $1 billion to NSW universities alone.
A University of Sydney spokeswoman said the institution was in “close discussions” with all levels of government on a range of COVID-19 restrictions.
The full article can be found on this link.
Now to expect the exemption to be announced soon will be naive and but it is definitely the way to go. As Indicated in my earlier blogs, students don’t pose any risk to Australia. The students have to undertake a medical testing before their travel and the Covid19 testing can be included in the same. On arrival, the student can be tested again or can be tested for symptoms. Easy.
I expect that International Students will be able to commence as usual in the first intake of 2021 (and with some luck an intake from October onwards of this year may also take place. )
As a parent I am thinking of all possible options to send my daughter to Australia who is already offered a place to study at Monash University. This seems to be the only option. Hoping there will be a vaccine by this year end.
You indicate that you are a parent and so let me offer you the advise… to you as a parent… “Don’t plan her future based on if there will be a vaccine… it may be there or it may not be there… Australia and NZ are both almost “virus free”. There is a good chance that they will allow international students to travel before the Feb2021 intake (or earlier). Students have to undertake a medical test and it is likely that a Covid19 testing will take place. On arrival there might be another rapid test or even a short quarantine to check for any symptoms. These are all my assumptions but the point that I am making is that we are entering a new world. Once your daughter is in Australia or NZ, she is very much safe from this virus. I have a feeling that UK and Canada too will follow the the same process by the end of the year…
I am ready to send her if the Australian authorities make this option available.