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Australia to welcome vaccinated foreign students, workers

Australia announced on Monday that it will ease its strict pandemic-related travel restrictions beginning next month, a move that is expected to aid the return of thousands of Indian students. According to an Australian government statement, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders, including students and skilled workers, will be able to enter Australia without the need to apply for a travel exemption beginning December 1.

The visitor must be fully vaccinated with a “completed dosage” of a vaccine approved or recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, as well as have a valid visa for one of the eligible visa subclasses, according to the announcement.

The passengers will also need to show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid PCR test taken within three days of their departure for Australia. According to the statement, travellers must adhere to the quarantine requirements in the country where they arrive.

PM Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra, “The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone in our pathway back.”

Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Monday that four months after the second dose, their Covid-19 vaccine was still 100 percent effective in children aged 12 to 15.

The new data, which included 2,228 trial participants, will be used to support the companies’ applications for full approval in the United States and around the world, according to the companies. Individuals who had at least six months of follow-up after the second dose had no serious safety concerns.

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