On the 22nd (local time), Australian public broadcaster ABC reported that the Australian government announced that it would ease entry restrictions to South Korea and Japan following Singapore. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference in Canberra on the same day and announced that the plan would come into effect on 1 December.
Earlier, the Australian government started to ease quarantine measures in stages in line with the country’s 80% vaccination rate. In the case of easing of entry restrictions, a ‘travel bubble (travel safety zone)’ measure was implemented with Singapore on the 21st.
Since March last year, the Australian government has imposed strict entry restrictions on all people except Australian citizens and permanent residents. In fact, the Australian border had been closed for nearly two years.
The Australian government permits entry into Australia and movement within the country without quarantine measures if you present an entry visa, proof of COVID-19 vaccination, and proof of a negative COVID-19 test issued in your home country within 3 days (72 hours) prior to departure.
In addition, from next month, Korean and Japanese nationals will be allowed not only tourists, but also study abroad and labor migration.
Prime Minister Morrison said: “Australia’s vaccination rate for people aged 16 and over has exceeded 85%, and we must now take an important step forward for economic recovery. It is an important milestone on the (daily) return path.”
Prime Minister Morrison said that the ‘Eligible Visa’, which allows entry without a separate permission, includes technology, employment, study, working holiday, etc., so visa holders are expected to enter Australia in earnest.
Australia’s Interior Minister Karen Andrews said the Australian government is currently considering allowing 200,000 workers to move into Australia a year, adding that “we will be actively working to bring as many people to Australia as soon as possible”.
This is interpreted as a result of growing concerns about a shortage of skilled workers in the country due to entry restrictions over the past two years.
In October, an independent policy research institute, Infrastructure Australia, estimated in a report that there would be a shortage of skilled workers to fill 105,000 jobs by 2023.
This is equivalent to one-third of all jobs in the infrastructure industry in Australia today, and it is expected that 40% of the total infrastructure workforce will be short within the next 15 years.
The institute said that there is a shortage of highly skilled manpower in all areas such as △electrical engineer, △senior engineer, △carpentry, △architect, and painter. It predicted that there would be a shortage of 28,000 trade and general workers.
At the same time, the Australian government has also announced the rebuilding of the country’s study abroad industry, which has been hit hard by the trade conflict with China.
Australian Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said, “International students are worth around A$40 billion to our economy. will come back,” he explained.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Australia created an annual economic value of $25 billion (about 30 trillion won) through overseas students. International students accounted for 21% of the total number of students enrolled in the university, and among them, Chinese students accounted for 38% of the total number of international students in 2018.
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