Here’s more welcome news for international students who are looking forward to returning to Australia. Quarantining in Queensland will no longer be necessary for fully vaccinated international students once the Sunshine State achieves its 90% vaccination target, said a minister.
Study Queensland — a state government organisation — said Stirling Hinchliffe announced that fully vaccinated international students will be able to travel to Queensland quarantine-free once the state hits their 90% vaccination target.
“As you know, the environment in which we consider the return of students is complex and rapidly evolving, but I can assure you that the Queensland government is doing everything we can to see international students back in Queensland,” the tourism minister was quoted saying.
“Once 90% of Queensland’s eligible population is fully vaccinated as per the Queensland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan to Unite Families there will be no requirement for international students arriving in Queensland from overseas to quarantine – the current advice is this vaccination rate will be achieved in early January.”
Currently, both New South Wales and Victoria have scrapped their quarantine requirements for incoming international students. This move will mean Queensland will join states such as New South Wales and Victoria in axing mandatory quarantine for incoming international students.
Quarantining in Queensland to be shelved
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Monday that fully vaccinated international students would return to Australia without an exemption from December onwards.
As each state has different rules and requirements for incoming travellers, industry experts have expressed concern that the mandatory quarantining in Queensland could deter students from studying and travelling to Queensland.
Previously, the Sunshine State required international students to undergo a two-week stay in an isolated quarantine facility, which would make travelling to Queensland more expensive when compared to states that have dropped the quarantine requirement.
The Qld Government has confirmed that fully vaccinated international students will be able to return to the state without quarantine once 90% of Qld is fully vaccinated. Current advice suggests this rate will be achieved early January, 2022. We can’t wait to welcome you back! pic.twitter.com/OSMijhZgY9
— Study Gold Coast (@StudyGoldCoast) November 25, 2021
Griffith University vice-president (global) Sarah Todd previously called on the Queensland government to set a deadline to end mandatory COVID quarantine for fully vaccinated international students, reported ABC News.
Todd was worried that Queensland might lose students to interstate universities, with NSW and Victoria already abolishing quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers.
She also expressed concern that travelling to Queensland would take time even if the state lifted its quarantine requirements because of the number of available seats on planes. The international education sector is worth almost six billion Australian dollars to the Queensland economy each year.