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Border reopening to international students and visa holders not guaranteed for mid-December

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt gives no guarantees that Australia will reopen its borders to international students and visa holders in mid-December.

The emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant has triggered a two-week delay in Australia’s much-anticipated international reopening.

“I’m certainly not making any guarantees,” Hunt told Sky News on Friday when asked if the pause for international arrivals would definitely end after December 15.

β€œIt is our intention at the end of that period, in accordance with scientific and medical advice, to return to the previous settings.

“It will depend on international evidence.”

Greg Hunt noted that there is no clear date yet on when the student access suspension will end. a file. attributed to him: Lucas Koch/AAPIMAGE

There are nine confirmed infections involving the Omicron variant in Australia and all but one in NSW.

The variant appears to be more transmissible than Delta and there are indications that Omicron may cause a milder form of the disease.

The authorities are awaiting more information about the effectiveness of the vaccine against the new strain.

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It’s too early to make a final call about that

“It looks like there’s still good resistance, strong resistance, but it’s too early to make a definitive decision on that,” said Mr Hunt.

On Thursday, Victoria recorded 1,419 new infections and 10 more deaths.

NSW has reported 271 new cases, including ACT eight and one Queensland case.

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