First international students arrive in Australia under quarantine-free Singapore travel bubble

Two planeloads of passengers from Singapore have arrived in Sydney and Melbourne, among them the first overseas university students to return post-pandemic.

A sign is displayed inside the empty arrivals hall at the international airport in Sydney on 15 October, 2021.

A sign is displayed inside the empty arrivals hall at the international airport in Sydney on 15 October, 2021. Source: Getty

International students returning after almost two years separated from Australian campuses during the pandemic will hopefully be the first of many, says the head of the nation's peak university body.

The contingent has arrived on flights touching down in Sydney and Melbourne from Singapore as part of the two-way travel bubble between the two countries.

None of the fully vaccinated passengers are required to enter quarantine.

Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson says the students are the first from overseas since small numbers returned in November last year.

"Universities have worked closely with government and health authorities for more than 18 months on plans to safely welcome back our international friends," she said on Sunday.

"Around 130,000 international students remain outside Australia and they are all very eager to re-join their classmates."

Those landing on Sunday will be joined on 7 December by about 500 others as part of a NSW government initiative.

Ms Jackson says although small in number their presence is a sign of things to come.

"We're confident that today's arrivals are just the first of many to return, at scale, for the start of first semester next year," she said.

Australia is now almost 85 per cent double dosed with more than 91 per cent of people 16 and over having had at least their first jab.

The nation recorded 1363 local cases on Saturday, 1166 in Victoria where a 10-year-old became the nation's youngest fatality of the pandemic among five deaths.

 


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Published 21 November 2021 at 7:42am, updated 21 November 2021 at 8:17am
Source: AAP - SBS

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