SYDNEY (XINHUA) - The state of Western Australia announced a new pathway for already-enrolled international students to return to the state despite its closed borders.
The move announced on Tuesday (Feb 15) night allows international students already enrolled in a primary school, secondary school and university, among others, to enter the state.
Students can either fly direct to the state subject to the arrival cap set by the Australian government, or indirectly by transiting through another state or territory.
The students must carry proof of a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) taken within 24 hours before departure and isolate for seven days at a suitable premise approved by police or the state's Department of Health after arrival.
All the arriving international students must be vaccinated with at least two doses or triple doses if eligible in their home countries. They must also take RAT or PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and either a PCR test on day six or a RAT on day seven during self-quarantine.
International education is one of the major industries in Australia, but earlier this year Western Australia authorities refused to allow students back due to Covid-19, even as some of the other states welcomed them.
Under the new pathway, up to 6,000 international students would be allowed to return to the state.
The state government said that according to the updated health advice, the cohort presents a low risk to the community, as many factors can provide confidence in quarantine arrangements now.
"International students are an important part of the Western Australia community - making a positive contribution to the state's diversity and vibrancy, and supporting local jobs in a variety of industries.
This new pathway is part of our ongoing review of border controls taking place this month, based on the latest health advice," said state premier Mark McGowan.
Eligible returning international students will also get a payment of A$2,000 (S$1,926) to help cover the cost of self-quarantine, according to the government.