Visa holders set to return next month

Australian visa holders, international students and skilled workers will be able to travel into the country from next month, almost two years after borders closed due to the pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said fully vaccinated visa holders would be eligible to enter Australia from December 1 without needing to apply for a travel exemption.

All citizens from Japan and South Korea will also be allowed to travel to Australia from that date, following similar travel arrangements with Singapore that started in November.

Mr Morrison said the move was another important step forward in the national plan following COVID-19 lockdowns.

"The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone in our pathway back, it's a major milestone about what Australians have been able to achieve and enable us to do," he said.

"It'll mean a lot for the economies of our country who need those workers and want to see those students return."

It's estimated more than 233,000 visa holders would be allowed to come to Australia under the scheme.

Visa types will include humanitarian, student, economic and temporary and provisional family visas.

More than one million tourist visas will be allowed to enter the country at a later date not yet specified.

Since international travel resumed from Australia on November 1, only citizens, permanent residents and their families have been able to travel without quarantine.

Mr Morrison said one of the reasons the decision was made to expand international travel was due to Australia's high vaccination rate.

More than 85 per cent of the eligible population over 16 are fully vaccinated while 91.5 per cent have had one dose.

"These are extraordinary achievements by Australians," he said.

"Australians can look forward to the Christmas and holiday season in a way that few around the world can."

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Australia was reopening to the world.

Meanwhile, the Northern Territory's outbreak is expected to grow beyond currently locked-down areas following nine new cases detected at remote Binjari, about 320km south of Darwin over the weekend.

Victoria reported 1029 new cases on Monday and a further three deaths.

In NSW there were 180 infections and one death reported on Monday.

In the ACT there were 11 cases registered in the past reporting period.

A new case was reported in Tasmania after an 18-month-old boy from Victoria tested positive after travelling to Hobart with his mother.

  • AAP
Prime minister, Scott Morrison. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Prime minister, Scott Morrison. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

This story Visa holders set to return next month first appeared on The Canberra Times.