Sydney Airport celebrated the return of fully vaccinated passengers from around the world and the reopening of the international border.
The first flight without passenger number limitations and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated passengers landed in Sydney on Monday, November 1.
The Australian government reopened its international border on Monday after 582 days. Australia introduced strict border restrictions back on March 20 last year after the global outbreak of the coronavirus.
There have been tears, laughter and warm embraces at the airport as friends and family reunited after long 18 months. One of the passengers, Julie Choo, who arrived from the UK to visit her sick mother in the hospital, reportedly said she was trying not to cry as the plane touched down in Sydney. She said:
“I just can’t wait to touch my mother’s hand when I see her. I can’t wait to hold her.”
“It’s going to be very emotional.”
In a statement, Sydney Airport’s Chief Executive, Geoff Culbert, said:
“Today (November 1 2021), some of the magic returned to our arrival halls; grandparents are meeting grandkids for the first time, families reuniting, all of the scenes that have been absent for far too long.”
“We still have a long way to go in terms of the recovery of our sector, but allowing fully vaccinated Australians to travel without quarantine will provide the template for bringing back students, business travellers, and tourists from all over the world,” he added.