Australia reopens borders for first time in almost 600 days

17:16, 01 November 2021
Australia reopens borders for first time in almost 600 days Photo:

Vaccinated Australians have finally got their chance to reunite with their families as the country lifted some of its restrictions.

Australian citizens are now entitled to travel abroad and return to their Motherland as on Monday Australia eased its international border restrictions, the first time since the pandemic outbreak.

It is more than 19 months or a total of 591 days after the lockdown status was introduced in the country on March 20, 2020.

Before Monday travelers arriving in Australia had to undergo quarantine of 14 days while the flights were rare.

Early in the morning the first planes from Singapore and Los Angeles arrived in Sydney where airline companies greeted them with banners, flowers, and cookies.

Many passengers were captured seeming happy, embracing and kissing their relatives and close ones after months or even years of separation.

In Melbourne a landing 237 flight plane was welcomed by a water cannon launch.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a post on his Facebook account in which he called November 1 a big day for Australia, adding that the quarantine lifting was obtained by the growing vaccination rates.

“We’re ready for take-off! I look forward to seeing even more border restrictions easing so families can be reunited and Australians can continue to reclaim their lives.”

In another post, the PM shared touching scenes recorded in Australian airports.

Despite a relatively small number of passengers on the first planes, Australia’s airline companies will steadily increase the frequency of flights. More than a million foreign residents have reportedly stayed blocked in Australia after its authorities introduced strict measures to stop the COVID pandemic.

Earlier, both Sydney and Melbourne, which holds the world record for the longest lockdown, put an end to it. Australia has recorded a total of some 172,000 cases and 1,743 deaths since the pandemic outbreak so far with an almost 26 million population.