We are living in strange times. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the way every one of us lives our life. The virus has been particularly worrisome for many international students who are planning to study in Australia as well as those who are studying here at the moment. Thankfully, there are some very encouraging signs that life in Australia can begin to get back to normal soon. In fact, a 3-step plan has been announced to get us all moving again. Taking this into account, we’ve put together a short article with all the relevant details for international students.
Step One is just the beginning of getting life back on track. Important changes include:
· Non-work gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed as restrictions are relaxed
· Some businesses can open their doors again for up to 10 people at a time (except for food courts). The 4 square metres per person rule must be adhered to
· Certain sporting facilities will be back in use again
· Where possible face to face teaching will recommence in technical colleges, schools and universities
· It’s likely that interstate borders will stay closed to tourists. However, intrastate travel for recreation to regional areas should resume. Hotels and hostels will open up again for accommodation but camping grounds and caravan parks will remain closed.
Step two is similar to the first step, just with twice the number of people allowed to gather in the majority of circumstances.
Step three can begin by July should the conditions continue to improve in Australia in terms of Covid-19. Having said that, it’s up to each state and territory to decide when it’s safe to move from one step to the next.
· During the third step it’s likely that a larger number of people will be able to gather for non-work reasons
· Additionally and very importantly the government will also consider Pacific Island, cross-Tasman and international student travel
While Australia exits lock down, it’s likely that life will continue to be a little different for us all. As the country returns to normal, each of us needs to keep practicing physical distancing and regular hand-washing to avoid a resurgence of the virus. Although life is on pause in many ways right now, Australia has world-class educational facilities that are perfectly suited to international students and will be welcoming them back as soon as it’s safe to do so.