Following Australia’s announcement that it would reopen its borders to overseas students in December, key hurdles remain, including a wild scramble for seats on airlines after Dec. 1, according to Phil Honeywood, chief executive of the International Education Association of Australia.
As a result of the Commonwealth Government’s statement, around 150,000 current student visa holders will be eligible to return to Australia.
- International students will be able to return to Australia without an exemption in the near future, ending a protracted wait since the country closed its borders in March.
- Since Australia stated that its borders will be relaxed, a number of airlines have announced flights to the country.
- Some states still have their own quarantine restrictions, and after Dec. 1, there will be a “race” for plane tickets.
International students who are fully vaccinated will be able to enter Australia without requiring any additional permits beginning in December; however, they may still be required to undergo quarantine depending on which state they land in.
The key challenges include some states still having distinct quarantine regulations, and there will be a “race” for plane tickets after Dec. 1.
Since Australia stated that its borders will be relaxed, a number of airlines have announced flights to the country.
For the first time in the airline’s history, Qantas will debut a new international route from Melbourne to Delhi on Dec. 22, connecting Victoria and the Indian capital on a Qantas-operated flight.
Meanwhile, Simple Flying, Emirates Australasian Divisional Vice-President Barry Brown warned that restoring Emirates’ Australian flights to pre-pandemic levels could take another two years.
It has been cited that some Australian states’ reluctance to fully reopen is a factor limiting the airline’s ability to restore flights.
Unless things improve quickly, Emirates will not be able to fly three times a day into Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane until 2023.
Honeywood added that it must be ensured that Sydney and Melbourne airports can manually handle enough vaccination certificates until a long-awaited automated verification mechanism is in place.
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