After 600 days of closure, Australia reopened its borders on Monday, allowing for the first time since the onset of the health crisis, fully vaccinated Australians to travel without isolation.
This is a relief to Australian citizens. L ‘Australia Its borders reopened on Monday 1stThere is November, almost 600 days after they closed, led to moving shots reuniting at Sydney Airport.
On March 20, 2020, the largest island-continent implemented one of the world’s toughest border closures to protect itself from the Kovit-19 epidemic.
Tens of thousands of Australians living abroad have been stranded for 19 months without being able to return to their homeland. Thefts are rare and nationals allowed to return had to undergo expensive 14-day isolation at the hotel.
The country’s two major cities, Sydney and Melbourne, have decided to drop the measures and fully vaccinated Australians can now travel without isolation.
The Australian company Qantas landed most of its fleet and its CEO Alan Joyce was delighted to “take a long time to arrive” to restart international flights.
“It’s wonderful to see Australians reunite with their loved ones after such a long time,” he said.
“This is a big day for Australia,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a message on Facebook, saying the country was now “ready to take over!”
At Sydney Airport on Monday morning, the first landing passengers exploded in joy, resulting in hugging scenes.
Tim Turner told reporters the visit was “wonderful” and he had not seen his son in over a year.
More than a million foreigners are still trapped
Julie Sue, who returned from the UK, admitted to holding back tears when she landed.
“I can not wait to touch my mother’s hand when I see her. I can not wait to hold her in my arms,” the Australian returned to see his mother at the hospital. “It’s very moving.”
For some, like Lucinda Potlero, this reopening is coming too late.
“I have not seen my family for four years and have been trying to get in for a year and a half,” she lamented.
“I have mixed feelings about not being able to see my father alive again. He died a week ago, (…) but I’m good to attend his funeral.”
When some landed, others were ready to fly to find their loved ones abroad.
Abi Bajaj, 35, said she was “too” to leave for the United States to celebrate Christmas with her family without seeing her two years later.
“I’m looking forward to this day,” he told AFP before heading to Los Angeles.
Although there were some passengers on the first flights, the frequency of flights is expected to gradually resume.
With more than a million foreigners stranded in Australia and unable to return to visit friends or family, the easing measures apply primarily to Australian citizens.
Some Australian states with low vaccination rates will almost certainly close. Mandatory 14-day isolation will be in effect.