COVID-19 Update: Visa fee refund offered to entice students, holidaymakers amid worker shortage

People wearing PPE arriving at Sydney International Airport in Sydney. Source: AAP

This is your update on the Coronavirus in Australia for January 19, 2022.

  • International students and working holidaymakers who arrive in Australia from today will have their visa application fees rebated to encourage more to enter the country.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the changes to help the nation ease workforce shortages caused by the spread of the Omicron variant.
  • International students will have the fees waived for eight weeks from Wednesday, while the changes will be in place for 12 weeks for working holidaymakers.
  • A further 61 deaths from COVID-19 have been recorded across Australia's three most populous states. 
  • NSW has recorded 32 more deaths, while the number of people hospitalised is 2,863, of which 217 are in intensive care, a rise on Tuesday's figures of 2,850 and 209 respectively.
  • Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced, from today, NSW residents who had their second vaccine dose three months ago or more can now book their booster shot.
  • Australia's Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said winter is likely to bring a new spike in cases and potentially new variants of the virus, along with annual infections such as the flu.
  • Queensland has announced it will scrap quarantine for twice-vaccinated international travellers from 1am on Saturday.
  • Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the date has been set as the state is set to hit a vaccination coverage target of 90 per cent double doses in the coming days.
  • Melbourne Airport has called for an end to pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated international travellers, who are required to show proof of a negative PCR test within three days of departure to Australia.

A number of states have set up RAT registration forms. 

COVID-19 Stats:

NSW reported 32,297 new cases and 32 deaths, while Victoria recorded 20,769 and 18 deaths.

Queensland recorded 19,932 cases and 11 deaths, while Tasmania reported 1,185 cases.

For measures currently in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in your language, visit here.

Quarantine and restrictions state by state

Find out what you can and can't do in your state or territory


Information for international travellers and Covid-19 and travel information in language

Financial help

There are changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment once states reach 70 and 80 per cent fully vaccinated:  Getting help during Covid-19 from Services Australia in language

Visit the translated resources published by NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service

COVID-19 Vaccination Glossary
Appointment Reminder Tool.

Testing clinics in each state and territory

South Australia 
Western Australia 
Northern Territory

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