The Prime Minister of Australia, on the basis of medical advice by the Chief Medical Officer of Australia, has announced to pause further easing of border restrictions, until 15 December to better understand the Omicron Variant.
The decision to temporarily halt the reopening of Australia to international skilled and student cohorts, as well as humanitarian, working holidaymakers, and provisional family visa holders from 1 December until 15 December also include travelers from Japan and the Republic of Korea. The following announcement is made by the Australian government:
- No entry in Australia for anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, or their immediate family including parents of citizens, and who have been in African countries (South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi, and Mozambique), where the Omicron variant has been detected and spread within the past 14 days.
- Immediate supervised quarantine for 14 days subject to jurisdictional arrangements for Australian citizens and permanent residents, immediate family members including parents arriving from these African countries.
- Immediate isolation and testing for COVID-19 for everyone who has already arrived in Australia and who has been in any of the eight countries within the past 14 days and following jurisdictional quarantine requirements which will include quarantine for 14 days from the time of departure from Southern Africa.
- These restrictions are also applicable to international students and skilled migrants, arriving from the safe travel zones established with New Zealand and Singapore who have been in any of the eight countries within the past 14 days.
(Seychelles has been removed from the list of countries of concern)
This necessary and temporary pause will provide time to Australia to better understand and discuss the Omicron variant, to enable Australia to take sensible and responsive evidence-based action, led by medical experts.