In less than 12 months, Australia has endured a series of lockdowns. So far, we have seen:
- A nation-wide lockdown in March 2020
- A harsher Victorian lockdown from July to October 2020
- A Greater Sydney / Northern Beaches lockdown in December 2020
- A Brisbane 3-day lockdown
- A Perth 5-day lockdown
- A Melbourne 5-day lockdown
While these lockdowns aim to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and ensure the health and safety of the community, these lockdowns have a great impact on the Australian economy and life in general.
The Effects of Lockdowns on Business
Lockdowns impact various aspects of business. Regardless of industry, non-essential businesses had to close their doors during stage 4 lockdowns. Restaurants and cafes could only offer takeaway and delivery service and non-essential retailers were restricted to providing online shopping only. The effects of these closures or reduction of services results in:
- Loss of revenue
- Reduced staff shifts
- Permanent staff cutbacks
- Business uncertainty
Other Effects of Lockdowns
While lockdowns have a great effect on businesses, there are also other aspects that are affected; Immigration being one of them.
Chances are lockdowns will result in further delays in international borders reopening. Currently, there is a weekly cap on international arrivals. Lockdowns mainly caused by inadequacies in hotel quarantine will likely delay any increase in international arrival numbers. Victoria was set to increase the number of international arrivals as of Monday 15th February, the latest lockdown saw these numbers frozen for the time being. This possibly will in turn impact migration as the resumption of application processing is likely to be delayed.
The more lockdowns we have, the less chance overseas workers have to come to Australia. At the moment, travel exemptions are being granted for critical essential workers. Allowing these critical overseas workers to enter Australia allows the businesses relying on these workers to increase their workload and in turn provide employment for many Australians.
As far as we are aware, there is no correlation between the number of exemptions granted and the number of travellers being allowed into Australia. If the international arrival numbers cease to increase, it’s not only returned travellers that may have issues getting home but the number of essential overseas workers allowed into Australia may decrease which could have a negative effect on the Australian economy.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reinforced that lockdowns are detrimental and should be avoided. The effects of lockdowns has a flow-on effect. While we think it’s only businesses or the social interactions of the community affected, the impact actually has a broader reach.
If you would like to learn more about any aspect of immigration contact the Visa Solutions team on 1800 828 808.
While Australian borders are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel exemptions may apply under the following circumstances:
- A traveller has a compassionate or compelling reason to visit Australia
- Overseas workers holding a Subclass 482 or 400 visa are required to undertake a job in Australia that cannot be filled by a local employee
Visa Solutions Australia has been successful in acquiring a broad range of exemptions, from critical workers to those needing to travel on compassionate grounds. Temporary Visa Holders must apply for a travel exemption prior to leaving Australia if they wish to return.