Tim Tams, hugs and plenty of tears were all on display at Sydney Airport as the first quarantine-free flights to Australia touched down on Monday.
From November 1 fully-vaccinated travellers no longer need to endure quarantine when they arrive in NSW, Victoria or the ACT.
The lifting of public health orders comes after 590 days of hard international border closures.
The scenes at arrival halls looked like something straight out of ‘Love Actually’ as emotional families were reunited after almost two years apart.
A true ‘Love Actually’ moment 💖— Sydney Airport (@SydneyAirport) October 31, 2021
Today we welcome the first international arrivals under the new quarantine-free travel arrangements.
With the #internationalborder officially open, we can’t help but feel emotional as loved ones reunite at the Arrivals Hall.
📸 by @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/WlVFIO1gP5
A flight from Singapore Airlines was the flight to land in Sydney at 6am, followed by a long-haul Qantas flight from Los Angeles.
The first of Melbourne’s quarantine-free flights will touch down at Tullamarine around 11am. It is also a Singapore Airlines flight.
The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia said about 1500 Australians would be returning home today on 20 flights into Sydney and Melbourne.
One excited traveller on board the Singapore Airlines flight to Sydney posted her history-making flight details to twitter.
International arrivals received a warm welcome home with cheers from airport staff and a wattle flower – Australia’s national flower – as a gift. Qantas staff were also on hand with Tim Tams.
But what travellers were really waiting for was a hug from their loved ones. And the scenes were nothing short of heartwarming.
On the way out
Flights out of Australia are also back on the cards as of today.
The first international flight out of Sydney will leave at 6.30pm AEDT today, heading to London via Darwin.
Qantas is running flights between Sydney and London and Los Angeles from today. Flights to other destinations such as Fiji, Singapore and Thailand are relaunching in coming weeks.
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