Australia opens borders for first time in two years
Australia has rolled out a red-carpet welcome to British travellers as the country reopens its borders for the first time in nearly two years.
Australians and some others were allowed to return from late last year, but most foreigners have had to wait.
There were tearful reunions at Sydney Airport earlier on Monday as hundreds of people began arriving on flights.
Minister for trade, tourism and investment, Dan Tehan, joined Tourism Australia managing director, Phillipa Harrison, at Sydney International Airport to greet tourists.
Travellers who arriving at Sydney International Airport this morning were welcomed with live entertainment, Aussie themed gifts and a giant 75-metre ‘Welcome Back World!’ message which was painted adjacent to one of the runways.
“At Tourism Australia we are so excited to be welcoming back international visitors who make up a critical part of our visitor economy,” Harrison said.
“We know Australia remains an incredibly desirable destination for international visitors and we can’t wait to once again share all of the unforgettable tourism experiences we have to offer here in Australia.
“There is no doubt the last two years have been very challenging for the tourism industry, and whilst recovery will take a bit of time, operators can’t wait to say g’day and welcome back international tourists.”
Double-jabbed visitors do not need to quarantine, but unvaccinated travellers must do so in a hotel for up to 14 days at their own expense.
More than 50 international flights were due to land on Monday.
Travellers can enter all states except Western Australia, which remains closed until March 3rd and will require three jabs.
Australia had about 9.5 million overseas visitors in 2019.
Harrison Tehan said she hoped for a strong rebound in the tourism sector, which has been hit by domestic travel bans too.