Will Australia’s Omicron-sparked national cabinet meeting tomorrow shut borders to students?

Australian border update
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison calls for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Will there be another Australian border update? Source: Lukas Coch / POOL / AFP

[Find out the outcome of the national Cabinet meeting and if it’s impacting international students here]

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called an emergency national cabinet meeting as Omicron-related COVID-19 cases rise across the country. They will meet tomorrow, Dec. 22, as COVID-19 cases climb in Victoria and NSW. More Australian border updates could be in store, given the country’s track record in shutting borders to keep the virus at bay.

PM Morrison confirmed he had convened an “informal” national cabinet meeting for Wednesday. “I have convened that, the purpose of it was to give everybody an update on the information we have and share the information the states and territories have,” he said. “It’s not unusual we would be meeting more regularly with Omicron being where it is.”

The Prime Minister was asked to deliver a message to Australians who may be increasingly nervous about travelling over Christmas in case premiers start panicking and make drastic changes to Australian border updates amid the high case numbers. “These are points we will discuss tomorrow, that is why I would urge there be calm and consistent messages given about travel arrangements and the requirements,” he said.

It is uncertain for now if international students returning to Australia will be affected.

The Australian government is reportedly implementing a new way to manage the pandemic. Source: Henshaw/Pool/AFP

No Australian border updates?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has recently stated that lockdowns will not be returning in Australia. “We’re not going back to lockdowns — we’re not going back to shutting down peoples’ lives,” PM Morrison said. “There will be other variants beyond Omicron and we have to ensure, as a country, and as leaders around the country, we are putting in place measures that Australians can live with.”

State Premiers and leaders are set to press the Prime Minister to speed up the schedule for COVID-19 booster shots at tomorrow’s emergency meeting. The leaders will discuss public health measures, particularly masks, to combat rapidly increasing case numbers in New South Wales and Victoria.