Australia: Long-awaited international student return plan arrives

In recent weeks there has been a flurry of announcements from Australian states and territories. New student return pilot programs have been approved, and we now see a variety of deadlines and arrival protocols for incoming students in the coming months to be able to study in Australia.

If you’ve been struggling to keep up with the latest news, we hope you find the following summary useful.

Before we begin, some other important elements for context.

Firstly, the Australian academic year – for higher education institutions – is generally structured around two semesters, starting in February or March (depending on the institution) and July and August. The Australian pre-school and secondary education system follows a four-term calendar beginning in January, April, July and October.

Second, the Australian government has expanded its list of approved COVID vaccines in recent months. As of November 17, the vaccines approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are:

Comirnaty (Pfizer)
Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca)
Covishield (AstraZeneca)
Spikevax (Modern)
Janssen-Cilag (Johnson & Johnson)
Coronavac (Sinovac)
BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm) (for 18-60 years)
Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)


To be considered fully vaccinated, arriving travellers must have received two full doses at least 14 days apart (or one dose of Janssen-Cilag/Johnson & Johnson vaccine), and must have completed their course of vaccination at least seven days before arriving in Australia.

Finally, vaccination rates within Australia, which had lagged earlier this year, are beginning to increase more rapidly. By mid-November 2021, approximately 70% of eligible Australians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

Australian Capital Territory
Capital: Canberra

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) announced on 22 October that it will welcome back fully vaccinated international higher education students for the start of the 2022 academic year.

Returning students will have to meet all Australian government vaccination and testing requirements, but will not have to pass quarantine.

“It’s great to have clarity on the arrangements in the Australian Capital Territory and to know that, as soon as the borders open, our students will be able to come straight back to campus,” said Brian Schmidt, vice-chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU). “We will continue to work with the Commonwealth on arrangements to open the borders to students as soon as Australia can safely do so.”

 

New South Wales
Capital: Sydney

The New South Wales (NSW) government announced Nov. 12 that vaccinated students will be able to return to the state without quarantine.

The first chartered plane of returning students under the New South Wales International Student Arrival Pilot Scheme will land in Sydney on Monday 6 December. That flight will carry about 250 students from more than 15 countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, China and Canada.

“This is an important milestone on our roadmap to recovery and I look forward to welcoming such an important part of our community,” said Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet. “Not only do they make a significant contribution to our economy, but international students play a role in our culture and contribute to our community and lifestyle.”

 

Queensland
Capital: Brisbane

On October 26, Queensland’s Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport, Stirling Hinchliffe, announced that the state will once again welcome international students in early 2022. All incoming students must spend a two-week quarantine in a designated facility.

In the first phase of the Queensland Student Inbound Plan, students who continue on to Queensland universities will return to complete their studies. The scheme gives priority to those studying medicine, medical research and allied health disciplines. The state envisages a phased approach, with eligibility criteria for education providers and students, and the number of places, expanding in each phase.

“While distance learning has made it possible for students to continue their university studies in Queensland from their home countries, we recognise that it is not a sustainable, long-term substitute for face-to-face tutorials and practical experience. We also know that international students make an important contribution to the culture of Queensland cities and our regions,” Minister Hinchliffe said.

 

South Australia
Capital: Adelaide

The South Australian government has announced that the state will welcome fully vaccinated nationals and internationals (including international students) without a quarantine period once 90% of South Australians (over 12 years of age) are fully vaccinated.

The 90% target is expected to be reached by the end of December 2021.

Study Adelaide provides regular updates and additional background information on its website.

 

Tasmania
Capital: Hobart

Tasmania has also announced its reopening roadmap, where all vaccinated international travellers will be able to enter without going through quarantine from 15 December. All arriving travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test.

 

Victoria
Capital: Melbourne

Victoria has also approved a pilot program for the safe return of students, for which students must complete a 14-day quarantine. The first charter flights with returning students are expected in December 2021.

 

Western Australia
Capital: Perth

The State Government has announced that Western Australia (WA) will welcome back fully vaccinated international students in time for the start of the new academic year in February 2022.

The official reopening date will be set once Western Australia reaches a vaccination rate of double 80%, which is expected to occur in December 2021.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Sue Ellery has confirmed that the government envisages a reopening date of late January or early February 2022, which “would allow eligible international students to arrive in time for the first semester of 2022 or begin any required English or other preparatory courses before the second semester.”

 

Northern Territory
Capital: Darwin

International Education Minister Nicole Manison announced this month that the territory is preparing a plan for approval by the national government. If confirmed, the plan will see chartered flights land students returning to the territory in January 2022.

“International students make a huge contribution to the territory’s economy, with each student bringing in an average of A$40,693 each year,” the minister told ABC News. “By providing a pathway for international students to return to the territory and Australia, we are helping to diversify the economy, grow our population and support local jobs.”

 

It’s time to do your English course in Australia you’ve been waiting for.

Which EU countries are open to vaccinated tourists?

Summer is getting closer every day and so is the increase in vaccination rates. Some EU countries are going faster than others in opening their borders to foreign tourists.

As vaccination rates rise and summer approaches in Europe, many people who have already been vaccinated against COVID-19 are anxious to go on vacation. The EU’s new “COVID Digital Certificate” will be effective from 1 July to facilitate travel within Europe, and Member States have agreed on rules and recommendations to allow fully vaccinated tourists from abroad to return to the EU. But, for now, the reality remains a patchwork of restrictions where Member States apply different policies in different ways.

The situation varies from country to country. Here are some of the rules – and exemptions – for vaccinated travellers throughout the EU:

France

France, has opened its doors to many tourists from around the globe who have received full doses of vaccination as of June 9. It is the number one destination for international tourism.

  • Vaccinated people travelling from the EU and countries on France’s “green” list – including South Korea, Japan and Israel – can avoid the COVID-19 testing requirement altogether. Unvaccinated travelers from those regions may enter with a negative test.
  • Meanwhile, vaccinated tourists on France’s “orange” list – which includes the United States, Mexico and most African and Asian countries – will not need to prove an essential reason for travel. They will be exempt from quarantine, but will have to present a negative COVID-19 test.Unvaccinated people from these areas will only be allowed to enter France for essential reasons, such as attending a funeral or receiving urgent medical care.
  • The same is true of France’s “red” list, which includes South Africa, India, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and Colombia. All people arriving from red areas should self-isolate for at least seven days, even if they are vaccinated.

France will reopen to international tourists, provided they are vaccinated, with conditions.

Spain

Spain has opened its borders to vaccinated tourists from many countries of the world on June 7.

Persons entering Spain from what are considered “at risk” areas – including many EU members and most other countries in the world – can avoid quarantine requirements by presenting proof of full vaccination with a vaccine that has been approved by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization, a COVID-19 catch-up test, or a negative test. Vaccination with the second dose must have taken place 14 days before travel.

Spain has shocked Europe by allowing UK tourists to enter freely, regardless of their vaccination status. In the meantime, most EU citizens must have proof of immunity to COVID-19 or proof. 

Greece

Greece has opened its doors to tourists from about 50 countries, including EU member states, Russia and China, the United States, Canada.

  • To enter Greece, travellers must have a certificate of vaccination, a negative PCR test or a COVID-19 recovery test.

The Greek authorities consider that people are actually vaccinated 14 days after the last dose was administered, and travellers can still be subjected to random rapid tests at the airport. All arrivals must complete a Passenger Locator Form at least 24 hours prior to arrival.

Germany

Most travel to Germany from outside the EU and the Schengen area is still limited to urgent travel. Despite this, Germany has begun to accept COVID-19 certificates in some cases where travel is permitted.

While passengers arriving in the country by air usually have to undergo the test prior to their departure from their native country, those who may have a certificate of vaccination against the coronavirus are now exempt from the test.

Tourists who have passed through what Germany considers a “risk zone” (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru) must enter quarantine upon arrival in Germany, and, as a rule, the isolation period can be “terminated early” if a vaccination certificate is presented, according to the country’s Robert Koch Institute.

Passengers who have been in a country classified by Germany as a “red zone” – such as the UK, Brazil, India or Uruguay as of 4 June – cannot leave the quarantine early, even if they have been vaccinated.

Other countries

Other EU countries – Denmark, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Austria, Poland and Lithuania – are so far adopting similar approaches to Germany: maintaining restrictions on most non-essential travel from outside the EU, while waiving some testing and quarantine requirements for vaccinated people.

  • The European Union’s “Reopen EU” website provides up-to-date information on travel rules and restrictions in the 27 Member States.

What did you think of the news? At Ynsitu we believe that this is a good opportunity for you to travel and take advantage of the summer. That’s why we invite you to find a good reason to travel, and what better reason than to study a language abroad! With Ynsitu you can choose any language course anywhere in the world, any type of course you want.

For example, we invite you to see all the courses available worldwide, of French in France.

Spain, the favorite destination for European tourists this summer 2021 (and the rest of the year)

Spain, the favourite destination for European tourists 2021

Spain leads the ranking of favorite places to travel this summer. So say Italians, Germans, French and English. And even the Spaniards themselves plan to stay and enjoy their virtuous country. Mind you, they plan to spend even more than they did in 2019….

Before the pandemic, the sun, the beach, the party, the gastronomy and so many other Spanish good things made other Europeans choose Spain as their main holiday destination when this time of the year (summer) arrived. However, this year, despite the Covid-19, it seems that the preference will be repeated again. Not surprisingly, more than half of the citizens of the main Spanish tourism source markets (France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom) say they will travel to Spain at some point this holiday. And not only that, but they also plan to do so for the rest of the year.

These are the data from Opinion and Big Data to understand the International Tourist, their tourist preferences for the middle-end of the year. The meeting organized by Ipsos, the third largest market and opinion research company in the world, together with Turespaña and Mabrian, a tourism intelligence platform, were responsible for collecting this intelligent data. Its objective was focused on analysing the holiday plans of the four countries mentioned above.

In terms of volume of European tourists, according to data from the European Travel Commission, it is expected that 72% of Europeans intend to travel between the months of June and September, compared to 56% who showed interest in February 2021. 31% of them intend to travel in June and July, 41% will travel in August and September. In contrast, 16% of respondents prefer to wait to travel in the autumn months.

 

Summer Extension

According to Eva Aranda, Ipsos Tourism expert in Spain; Miguel Sanz, General Director of Turespaña, and Sonia Huerta, Head of Customer Success at Mabrian, the main conclusion of the data presented is that 2021 should not be taken for lost in terms of tourism, since “there is life beyond the summer”, as they agree in indicating.

More than half of the citizens of the main European tourists in Spain say they will travel in 2021, being Italy (62%) the state most willing to do so, followed by France (51%), United Kingdom (48%) and Germany (48%).

 

Vaccine as a decisive factor

According to Miguel Sanz, CEO of Tuespaña, “the vaccine has changed the perspective of tourists increasing their desire to travel and leading to a summer season that this 2021 is posed as the opportunity for the recovery of the sector”. In his opinion, the tourist has a greater willingness to pay more for the quality of the experience that is offered, something that from the sector should “take advantage of these months to make a great season that is expected to extend well into October. We could interpret that the desire of European tourists to travel, is very high compared to previous years, by the confinement that many countries have suffered and the blocking of borders, because of the Covid-19, data that should be used to present the European tourist the best of the experiences at the time of their possible arrival in July-August.

In relation to flight searches made by natives of Spain’s tourist sending countries, it is observed that Spain maintains a competitive position with respect to other places compared to 2019. In fact, the countries that most demand Spain, to travel this summer using the plane as a means of transport, hardly change, placing it in first place. It adds a seven-point increase over 2019, thanks to that increase in domestic tourism.

Ipsos analyzed another big data, the number of days that tourists will spend in their destinations. Those going to Spain by air will increase their expected average stay compared to 2019 in all markets. Thus, the Germans are the ones who will spend more time on average, 9.5 days, followed by the English and Italians (8.6 days in both cases) and French (8.4 days).

 

If you and your loved ones are so eager to travel abroad and are looking for a reason to make the most of what summer has in store for you, don’t miss the opportunity! A part of the tourists every year come to Spain or to any country in Europe to study the native language of the country they are visiting. At YNSITU (the world’s first marketplace dedicated to language tourism) we offer you the possibility to take any type of language course (really any type of course), anywhere in the world. From Exam Preparation to Language Courses for Seniors (+30, 40, 50 years old).

We recommend you to visit our website and enjoy the summer as much as possible!

72% of Europeans plan to travel this summer according to the European Travel Commission

72% of Europeans will travel this summer

Interest in travel has increased among European citizens as the epidemiological situation progresses. This is helped by the fact that entry restrictions to European countries are becoming less and less restrictive. As data from the European Travel Commission (ETC) shows, 72% of Europeans plan to travel this summer.

The latest research from ETC’s “Monitoring Domestic and Intra-European Travel Sentiment – Wave 7” shows these positive intentions and travel preferences.

The increasing rate of administration of COVID-19 vaccines and the new EU COVID Certificate, together with the arrival of summer, increases the desire and interest of Europeans to start travelling and holidaying. 57% of respondents are optimistic about planning a trip, thanks to the vaccines administered. 18% are still unconvinced and the remaining 25% are neutral about it.

72% of Europeans intend to travel between June and September, compared to 56% who showed interest in February 2021. 31% of them intend to travel in June and July, 41% will travel in August and September. In contrast, 16% of respondents prefer to wait to travel in the autumn months.

 

Restrictions and quarantines are less and less of a concern

When preparing for travel, quarantine requirements and changes in regulations continue to be a problem, although this is becoming less of an issue as measures in European countries are being relaxed as the situation progresses.

Flight cancellations can be a problem, so it is important to know the conditions in your destination country before planning your trip. The airplane as a mean of transport is a concern among travelers in terms of health and safety. As a result, preference for air travel has decreased by 11% since February 2021 and preference for car travel has increased by 23%.

 

Preferred destinations

As the intention to travel increases, so does the interest in travelling to other European countries. 51% of respondents prefer it, while 36% prefer domestic trips.

“Europeans travelling abroad this summer prefer southern destinations such as Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal for their next trip,” notes the ETC.

 

If you are also thinking of taking a trip this summer, don’t miss the opportunity to make the most of it! A language course in its native country can be one of the best options to combine your holidays with tourism. We offer you the possibility to do all kinds of language courses: exam preparation, language courses for adults and many more! If you don’t know what kind of course you want, you have the option to choose your favourite destination country: courses in France, Ireland, Italy… more than you can imagine! Do you want to make the most of your trip?