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Up to 6,000 int’l students can return to WA

Here’s some welcome Australian news update for students: Western Australia’s state government announced that up to 6,000 international students would be allowed to return to the state.

A media statement published today said international students can enter Western Australia through a new pathway as part of the state government’s ongoing review of border controls based on the latest health advice.

The new pathway allows international students enrolled in a Western Australian primary school, secondary school, university, college, technical college, or other further education courses to enter the state from today.

New and returning students will be eligible under the new pathway.

“Updated health advice indicates the new settings can be safely implemented due to a number of factors that provide confidence in quarantine arrangements and demonstrate the cohort presents a low risk to the community,” read the statement.

“This includes the relatively small size of the cohort and the strong support universities are able to provide students to assist with their quarantine arrangements.”

“International students are an important part of the WA community – making a positive contribution to the State’s diversity and vibrancy, and supporting local jobs in a variety of industries,” said WA Premier Mark McGowan.

Australian news update: Thousand of students to return

Up to 6,000 international students are expected to return in the coming weeks under the new pathway, said the statement. This is in addition to the approximately 900 international students who have entered the state since January 20, 2022.

International students can either fly direct into the state within the federal government’s set cap or enter indirectly by transiting through another state. They add that international student will be subject to the same quarantine requirements as other approved travellers.

They will isolate in a combination of state-run hotel quarantine, other approved hotel accommodation, approved on-campus accommodation, or other suitable premises approved by WA Police or WA Health.

Australian news update

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan previously said the state would reopen to the rest of the country on Feb. 5, 2022, but reversed that decision.

To enter Western Australia, international students must:

  • Have an approved G2G pass, with “Enrolled Student in WA” as the exemption category.
  • Be triple dose vaccinated if eligible (or double dose vaccinated if not eligible)
  • Provide proof of a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within 24 hours before departure;
  • Undertake seven days of self-quarantine at a suitable premises in Western Australia, with the same requirements for household members at the self-quarantine premises.
  • Undertake RAT or PCR testing within 24 hours of arrival, and either a PCR test on day 6 or a RAT on day 7 of self-quarantine. If asymptomatic and a negative test is returned, quarantine is complete after 7 days. If symptomatic, the student needs to continue isolation until symptoms resolve. Household members, who quarantine with the traveler, will also be required to do a PCR test on the traveler’s day 6.
  • Be subject to mandatory use of the G2G Now app and in-person checks by Western Australian Police as required.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said: “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.

“The relatively small size of the international student cohort and the strong support universities provide allow us to have confidence in quarantine arrangements, meaning the risk to the community is low.”

International Education Minister David Templeman said: “Western Australia remains a great place to live, study and work, and there are many employment, social and cultural opportunities for international students across the state. International students add much to our community and our enduring relationships with countries throughout the world from where students come from.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to safely enable international students to enter the state under these updated settings to support the flourishing international education sector and the many jobs and livelihoods it supports.”

In a previous Australian news update, the state government said returning international students may be eligible for the self-quarantine payment of 2,000 Australian dollars.

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