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Another pilot plan for international student return to Australia delayed

The Greater Sydney lockdown will push back any plans for international student return to Australia until August 28, at least. This lockdown was extended for four weeks on July 27 in view of the rising cases brought about by the notorious Delta variant. It will inevitably pause the New South Wales (NSW) pilot plan, which would enable 250 international students to come to Sydney per fortnight.

The Greater Sydney area includes the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour. The lockdown has most recently been extended to Newcastle and the Hunter region after 262 new active cases in NSW on August 5, including five deaths. It will last for one week, at least.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed that the state would pause its pilot plan for international student return to Australia on July 13. By this point, it was already clear that a lengthy extension would push the programme’s start date into the later months of the year.

Plans to ramp up the student intake ahead of semester one next year are set for further delay. These suspicions are now confirmed as the Delta variant hits NSW hard, forcing the government to enforce a hard border shutdown once more.

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