International students bound for South Australia can now enter the country following the approval of the new plan, following the pleas of SA universities to the federal government.
Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier approved the reentry of international students provided they undergo a two-week quarantine at the Parafield Airport located in Adelaide’s north. The airport’s existing buildings will serve as quarantine facilities for incoming students, while central business district medi-hotels will house returning Australians.
Spurrier approved the move because the plan satisfied the mandated protocols and requirements set by the government. She also understood how vital these students contribute to the economy.
Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge expressed concern that the plan would not cause any COVID-19 concerns for the neighbouring suburb affected by the cluster spread from Parafield last November. Parafield is among the busiest airports in Australia. She said their number one priority at this time is to ensure that everyone is safe.
“It is really important that my community recognises that we as a council will do [our] best — working with the government — to make sure they are safe, the community is safe,” Aldridge said. The council said that this would not happen again.
While the plan would still require approval from the federal government, it is a welcome first step for colleges and universities awaiting the return of international students. For many years, these students served as the major driver of the economy, particularly in the Adelaide CBD area. Their return can be critical in helping the state bounce back from the economic slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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