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February 23, 2020

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Australia to allow back students

THE Australian government said yesterday it will allow the return of some Chinese high school students who have been blocked from entering the country due to coronavirus restrictions, reopening the door to a market that is key for the economy.

Thousands of Chinese students were prevented from heading to Australia after the long summer break for the start of school and university terms this month when the government imposed a travel ban for most people traveling from China.

Australian officials said the targeted ease of the ban would allow about 760 Chinese high school students — none from Hubei Province, epicenter of the outbreak — to apply to return.

The students would be considered on a case-by-case basis and those who were successful would be subjected to a 14-day self-imposed quarantine on arrival, officials said.

Chinese made up almost 40 percent of the international higher-education students in Australia in 2018, according to data. That broader population has grown by more than 10 percent over each of the past three years, contributing A$30 billion (US$21 billion) to the economy.


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