Australia border updates for students: Vaccinations, a new app and inbound travel

australia border updates
Here's what we know so far about Australia border updates that affect international students. Source: William West/AFP

International students are still waiting with bated breath for Australia border updates. The country could ease outbound travel restrictions once the vaccination rate reaches 80% of people aged 16 and over. What about inbound travel? Here’s what we know so far:

Latest news for international students in Australia: Inbound travel still on the cards

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously said that the national plan allows for states that had 80% of its adults fully vaccinated to resume international travel even if other states had not. The steady increase in vaccinations suggests NSW and Victoria could reach 80% in November, while Queensland and Western Australia could take until December, reported The Sydney Morning Herald. 

Trade Minister Dan Tehan said this week international border restriction for outbound travellers would be scaled back once the target was reached, naming New Zealand, the Pacific and Singapore as destinations.

“The national plan makes [it] very clear that once we hit that 80% mark then outbound travel — travel by Australians overseas — will take place and also that we can put in place arrangements for inbound travel as well,” he was quoted saying.

Qantas is also reportedly restarting international flights from mid-December 2021, with plans linked to the vaccination rollout in Australia and key international markets.

australia border updates

Many students are still waiting for Australia border updates. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported that the federal government plans to issue international COVID-19 vaccination certificates from October and is in talks with other countries to work out which vaccines will be recognised. The COVID-19 national security committee of the federal cabinet discussed the travel pass on Wednesday night in a bid to get the system running by October, before easing the Australia border ban.

Vaccines recognised for travel into Australia will be those approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Currently, vaccines approved by TGA include AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The federal government is also reportedly signing up to an international app backed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, an agency of the United Nations, using a “visible digital seal” as a global standard for proving vaccination. Tehan said this meant the Australian system would “seamlessly” join other countries.

Australia border updates

Australia border updates for students: inbound travel is still on the cards. Source: William West

Australia border updates for students: States’ roadmap to freedom

Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed a roadmap to freedom for the fully vaccinated yesterday. They will be granted freedoms from the Monday after NSW passes the 70% double vaccination target.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan remains conservative about reopening WA to the rest of the country and the world. There is no official estimate, but McGowan could keep the domestic borders closed for months. Regional Victoria’s lockdown was lifted yesterday.