When will international students be allowed back into Australia?

Our Dear Leader, PM Morrison, God among puny men, the greatest Australian head of state since Malcolm Turnbull, recently outlined his Covid reopening scheme, which I alluded to the other day. Quick refresher:

—In Step One we will see the reopening of restaurants, cafes, libraries, community centres, boot camps, and outdoor gyms, as well as some local and regional travel. But there’s a limit of 10 people on public gatherings, so getting into a restaurant is going to be a bit like trying to get a table at Dorsia. Have fun with that. Might have to settle for Barcadia.

—Step Two increases the public gathering cap to 20 (still a Dorsia situation), opens “some interstate travel,” as well as indoor gyms and salons.

—Step Three permits as many as 100 people to congregate. There will be a general “return to work” and a grand reopening of food courts, night clubs, and, for all you champion perspirers, saunas. Interstate travel will be a go, and some international travel as well.

What about international students? After all, international education accounts for about $40 billion of the Aussie economy. Well, Maestro Morrison says it’s a “possibility.”

“Issues of international students, you’ll note that it does come into the third step of the plan, that is a possibility,” he said. “We are open to that, and would be working with institutions to see how that could be achieved.”

“How that’s done and how those costs are met—there’s a lot of steps to work through. We’re open to everything pretty much to get the Australian economy back and firing again as much as possible. We’ve just got to step through it carefully.”

Catriona Jackson, CEO of Universities Australia, is on board with readmitting international students:

“We welcome the inclusion of international student travel down the track, in Step Three. We are keen to welcome all our students, from home and abroad, back to face-to-face teaching, but when it is safe to do so.”

As Step Three is supposed to be in effect by July, that means international students may be able to arrive in Australia for the fall term. This would not include students from India, though, according to Association of Australian Education Representatives in India president Ravi Lochan Singh.

“I don’t expect Indian students to be ready to join the July/August intake as Indian academic calendar is disrupted,” Singh said. “However several universities do operate a third intake in November and so institutions with an intake in October/November could see some fresh enrollments from the Indian region. This is really good.”

I would be wary of letting anyone in from the USA. That shithole country has far and away the most coronavirus cases (1.4 million) and deaths (81,000) in the world. And I heard they inject disinfectant over there. Background checks on all Americans before they’re allowed in!