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Australia to open borders for foreign travelers, students next month

Australia on Monday announced it is lifting restrictions on foreign travelers, including students and skilled workers from next month.

Speaking to a news conference in Canberra, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new move was part of his government’s national plan to return to normal life.

“From the 1st of December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be able to come to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption. Eligible visa holders, including skilled and student cohorts, as well as humanitarian, temporary, working holiday maker and provisional family visa holders,” Morrison said.

He added that his country will also welcome fully vaccinated citizens of Japan and Korea to quarantine-free travel from their home country to Australia.

“The steps we are taking today are about securing our economic recovery,” Morrison said, adding that the return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone.

However, travelers who arrive in Australia must provide proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test taken three days before departure.

In the first phase, Australia removed travel restrictions and scrapped the permission requirement for international travel for vaccinated Australians from Nov. 1.

However, un-vaccinated people still need permission from the government prior to their international travel.

Australia has so far reported 290,336 COVID-19 cases with 1,942 deaths since the start of the pandemic last year, according to the Health Ministry.

Some 91.5% people aged 16 and above have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 85.1% citizens have been fully vaccinated.

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