International tertiary education students who are fully vaccinated will be able to return to the ACT from the start of the 2022 academic year.
The announcement by the territory government on Friday comes ahead of the expected confirmation that Australia’s international borders will begin to reopen within weeks.
The students must have had a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and follow federal government testing requirements.
They will not be required to quarantine in the ACT.
“It’s great to have clarity about arrangements in the ACT and to know that as soon as the borders open our students can come straight home to campus,” Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt said.
Meanwhile, coronavirus restrictions in the nation’s capital have eased with some stores reopening for the first time since the territory entered lockdown in mid-August.
All retail stores in the ACT will be able to operate under a density limit of one person per four square metres from Friday.
More restrictions are set to ease on October 29, including masks no longer being mandatory outdoors, larger gathering limits and changes to density limits.
Travel will open to all of NSW from November 1, with people entering the ACT from the state no longer needing to undergo two weeks of quarantine.
Only high-risk local government areas will be barred from entering the territory but the threshold for which areas are declared hotspots will be increased.
Restrictions will ease further at the end of November.
Health department figures show 98.3 per cent of over-16-year-olds in the ACT have had their first vaccine dose with the fully dosed rate standing at 84 per cent.