Nearly 20,000 international nursing students in Australia will temporarily be able to work more hours, according to a government decision relaxing visa rules due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

International nursing students in Australia will have restrictions on their hours of work lifted by the federal government in order to allow them to work up to 40 hours a fortnight, Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister announced on Wednesday.

“The students who are already studying and in some cases working in Australia will be made available to help and support the health effort right across the country, as directed by our health officials,” Morrison pointed out.

Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge highlighted that international students could help to fill the staff shortage in this sector, VisaGuide.World reports.

Tudge added that while more workers need to stay self-isolated for 14 days, or some health concerns, Australia needs to be sure that there is enough staff to take care of older Australians who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

“Many international students already work in the aged care sector but are restricted to 40 hours a fortnight. We’re relaxing those limits to help fill the temporary staff shortages. This follows similar concessions to major supermarkets to keep shelves stocked with essential items,” Australian minister said.

Minister Tudge finds it important to listen to businesses suggestions as the deadly virus continues to spread, and may need to expand the measures to assist all sectors when required. He also aims to provide flexibility with temporary visas.

He also said that the government and the sector will continue to work closely “to deal with this extraordinary health challenge.”

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, about 2.4 million temporary visa holders, who are currently staying in Australia might need to extend their visas.

So far, 816 persons tested positive for the  COVID-19 in Australia, while seven persons have died.

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