The first chartered plane of returning international students will touch down in Sydney International Airport on December 6.The flight will carry about 250 students from 15 different countries including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, China and Canada.A second flight transporting international students from South Asia and India is also scheduled.NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the decision to scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated international students was a “significant milestone” for the state.“They don’t just make a significant contribution to our economy but international students play a role in our culture and contribute to our community and lifestyle,” Mr Perrottet said.“I can’t wait to welcome back such an important part of our community.”International students play an important role in the NSW economy, taking up almost 290,000 study spots and more than 95,000 full time jobs before the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Perrottet made a similar announcement about the return on international students in May, but his plan was later quashed by the Delta outbreak that began in June.The students are set to return from December until “further notice” under the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan.It comes as NSW recorded 250 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 and no deaths on Saturday as the state’s vaccination figures continue to rise. There were also five new infection in overseas travellers and one in an interstate arrival.Currently, 228 people are in hospital with the virus as 32 of those are in intensive care. More than 58,000 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours. NSW is among the most highly-vaccinated regions in the world as there are now 90.8 per cent of its residents aged 16 and older that are fully vaccinated. There is also 94.1 per cent of the eligible population that’s had at least one dose.
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