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    Immigration

    Australia Holds Border Reopening Due to New Omicron Variant

    Nov 30,2021

    Australia-Holds-Border-Reopening-Due-to-New-Omicron-Variant

    Introduction

    The world has been hit again with the new variant of the COVID 19 virus. Nowadays, the news of the COVID 19 virus become more sensitive than the Sensex. It has more ups & downs than a roller coaster ride.

    As a result, the countries which are about to open their borders for international travellers, now again find themselves in the dilemma. The most recent example is Australia; the country has won the world’s attention last week by declaring to open its borders for international students and skilled migrants.

    The New Omicron Variant and Australia’s Response 

    Now all of sudden due to the new Omicron variant Australian government has taken the important necessary decision of pausing the border opening for the next two weeks. As per the medical advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Australia, Professor Paul Kelly, the National Security Committee has taken this decision.

    Previously the borders were about to open from Wednesday, 1 December 2021 but due to this variant of COVID-19, the opening is delayed until 15 December 2021. Australia Immigration’s decision has affected skilled migrants, international students, humanitarians, working holidaymakers and provisional family visa holders.

    Along with that, the reopening of borders for Japanese and Korean travellers has also paused until 15 December 2021.

    Australian government buy this time to gather some more information about the Omicron variant. As per the government’s statement, they need a better understanding of the variant, check the vaccine success rate against the variant, the range of illness, check illness range, whether it generates mild symptoms or more, and transmission level.

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    Australian Borders and Foreign Travelers

    As of now, Australian borders are open for fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residency holders, their immediate family members, as well as fully vaccinated green lane travellers that include the citizens of New Zealand and Singapore with limited exemptions.

    In addition, all these above-mentioned travellers need to have a negative PCR test report. As well as, filled Australian Traveler declaration form that includes the complete vaccination status, state and territory wise confirming requirements that comply with the public health requirements.

    Measures Declared by The Australian Government for Omicron Variant

    On 27 November 2021, the Australian government has declared these measures against the new variants

    • The Australian government has banned all flights from these countries. However, on Professor Kelly’s advice, Seychelles has been removed from the list of the countries.
    • With the immediate effect, any person or his immediate family including parents who are not a citizen or permanent residency holder of Australia, and who have been in the African countries within the past 14 days where the Omicron variant has been detected and spread will not allow to enter in Australia. Here is the list of the African countries where the Omicron variant has spread
      • South Africa,
      • Namibia,
      • Zimbabwe,
      • Botswana,
      • Lesotho,
      • Eswatini,
      • Malawi
      • Mozambique
    • The Australian citizens, permanent residency holders, immediate family members including parents who are arriving from any of these countries will need to go to mandatory and immediate supervision. Additionally, they have also need to be quarantined for at least 14 days depends on the jurisdictional arrangements.
    • Apart from this, anyone who has already landed in Australia from any of these eight countries within the past 14 days must isolate themselves and go for the COVID 19 test. The person has also need to follow the jurisdictional quarantine arrangements that are 14 days from the time of departure from Southern Africa.
    • In addition, similar restrictions will apply to those international students and skilled migrants as well, who have been in any of these African countries in the past 14 days and arriving or planning to arrive from the safe travel zone, which Australia has established with New Zealand and Singapore.
    • The above measured will be continued until 15 December 2021.

    Conclusion

    As per the recent media release by the Australian government has assured their citizen that they are in a strong position to deal with the COVID 19 and its further challenges. As per the records Australia has achieved the highest vaccination rate in the world with 92.3 per cent population having the first dose whereas, 86.8 per cent of the population have now double vaccinated. In addition, Australia has the lowest fatality rates in the world because of the precise COVID 19 guideline and steps. To discuss further the Omicron variant, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the National Cabinet meeting. The meeting may once again ensure that Australia can open safely, and stay safely open.

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