International students and skilled migrants will be able to enter some states from Wednesday, Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed.
Australia is on track to welcome foreign students and skilled workers, for the first time since March 2020, on Wednesday after a two-week pause because of the highly transmissible Omicron strain.
Concerns about the global spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 had caused the much-awaited return of visa holders to be paused for two-weeks earlier this month.
Since that announcement was made, Australia has fast tracked its booster vaccine rollout and medical experts now believe the Omicron strain may be milder than the Delta variant.
Mr Hunt said that it is now safe to slowly open the international border.
‘The strong, clear evidence is that all of the vaccines continue to provide very clear coverage against serious illness, hospitalisation and loss of life,’ he said.
‘As a variant, it may well be milder and that could turn out, as many international sources have indicated, to be a quietly positive development for the world,’ he added.
“That reopening is scheduled, will be going ahead, and has been reaffirmed over the weekend after consultation with the prime minister, with the national cabinet meeting, and with advice form the chief medical officer,” he said.