NSW and Queensland join Victoria in asking for purpose-built quarantine hubs to accommodate international students, who contribute significantly to local and national economies.
A new article from The New Daily has highlighted the growing demand for purpose-built quarantine hubs in Australia. The main purpose of these hubs is to ensure international students are able to return to their studies in person, despite many of them coming from high-risk countries around the world.
The Demand for International Students
International students are hugely valuable to the Australian economy; they contributed $31.9 billion to it between June 2017 and June 2018 (Universities Australia), directly boosting jobs and wages, even in regional areas.
Why Purpose-Built Quarantine Hubs Instead of Hotel Quarantines?
A hotel quarantine scheme run by state government officials has been in place since March 2020 in Australia, but chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly revealed there had been at least 21 leaks of the virus into the community from the hotels.
Consequently, the hotel quarantine has come under increased scrutiny in terms of its effectiveness for containing the virus. With international students due to return to their universities, calls for purpose-built quarantine hubs have become increasingly loud and widespread.
The demand to let international students back into Australia epitomises the ongoing struggle faced by national governments to balance economic and health risks when it comes to Coronavirus policy, so regardless of the final outcome, huge chunks of the Australian population are going to be disappointed by the policy on quarantine hubs in the coming months.
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