International students could be allowed to return to Australia as early as July

Australia is preparing to welcome international students back in its country as early as July – providing much needed respite for an industry which has been severely battered since the onset of the global health emergency.

PM Scott Morrison on Friday said some international students could be allowed to return to Australia on a ‘pilot basis’ but only if states agree to open their borders.

“I made clear to the states and territories today, if someone can’t come to your state from Sydney, then someone can’t come to your state from Singapore,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

According to a report, “international education earned Australia A$40.4 billion (£20.8 billion) in 2019, making it the country’s fourth-biggest export after iron ore, coal and gas.” Travel restrictions owing to COVID-19 has severely affected the industry, and has placed an estimated 130,000 jobs at risk. Several state governments have been working out plans to welcome students back into their states – and the federal government is also positive about their return. However, ‘only after Australians are allowed to move freely within the country’ the PM has made abundantly clear.

As of 12th June, 2020, NSW and Victoria are the only two states who haven’t closed their borders, South Australia has said it will reopen its borders on 20th July. Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania are yet to announce their dates.