Current Australian travel restrictions
The Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs (DHA), has extended restrictions for travellers arriving from all overseas countries as of 20 March 2020 (see:
DHA). This means that students are unable to arrive in Australia from any overseas country, unless they hold an exemption to travel restrictions. Additional travel restrictions were also announced requiring all arrivals to quarantine for 14 days at their port of arrival.
The Department of Home Affairs has provided assurance that international students’ visas will not be cancelled if students cannot travel to Australia as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
Australian Government travel restriction exemptions
The Department of Education and Training, Victoria worked with the Australian Government to secure exemptions to COVID-19 travel restrictions for Chinese international students who are in year 11 or 12 and enrolled in VCE studies in Victoria, in recognition of the importance of them completing their senior high school education. At present, this does not include students in Hubei Province or students studying at primary, junior secondary or middle secondary levels. It also does not include students from other countries.
Jointly, the Department of Education and Training, Victoria, Australian Government, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), government schools, students, parents and homestay families (if applicable) are required to comply with a number of steps to seek an exemption. The Department of Education and Training, Victoria is working with impacted students and their schools directly to help facilitate the exemptions on a case-by-case basis. Exempted students and their education agents are encouraged to consider arrival in 2021 given the currrent timing in the school year.
Students should seek reimbursement from their airline or travel insurance company for any out of pocket expenses relating to cancelled flights.