Plan to bring international students back to Victoria


Victoria would accept more than 100 international students next month under a plan in which new arrivals would quarantine in a set-up similar to the Australian Open tennis tournament.

The Premier’s office released its letter to the Prime Minister’s office where Acting Premier James Merlino outlined details of the scheme.

From May 24, Victoria would accept 120 students per week who would all serve mandatory quarantine in an “economic cohort quarantine hotel” – a dedicated hotel for student arrivals separate to other international arrivals.

The program would operate on an industry/user pays model, with relevant industries/sectors (e.g. tertiary education institutions, stage and screen productions, major event organisers) providing funding to support operating costs, the letter BO Slot also read.

The new arrivals would pay more than the $3000 fortnightly fee currently charged to one adult.

Mr Merlino said international student arrivals would “support Victoria’s and Australia’s economic recovery”.

The arrangement is not set to impact the state’s international arrival cap of 1000 arrivals per week, with the students expected to arrive on commercial passenger flights.

In his letter, Mr Merlino asked the federal government to approve Victoria’s plan and fast-track visas for the new arrivals.

Mr Merlino also said the “highest levels of safety” would be maintained across the program.

Staff tasked to the economic cohort quarantine hotel would have received “at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine”.

Students would also be subjected to the same coronavirus testing regimen as in the standard quarantine hotel scheme.


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