Australia announced that starting today, its borders have reopened for international visitors and foreign tourists can now the country for the first time after a nearly two-year ban.
Known for having one of the world’s toughest COVID-19 policies, Australia completely shut down its borders during the first wave of infections in March 2020.
Foreign visitors can now visit all country’s regions except Western Australia, which will reopen on March 3.
All fully vaccinated foreigners can enter without staying at quarantine hotels upon arrival. Foreign travelers who have not received their shots must still apply for exemptions.
Almost 60 flights were scheduled to land in Australia in the first 24 hours following the reopening of the border. Australian TV has aired clips of emotional reunions between family members and friends who were separated for nearly two years.
Australian government has been carefully easing restrictions on foreign travel in recent months due to the success of the immunization campaign.
Officials said on Monday that 94.2% of residents over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated.
“We are going from COVID-cautious to COVID-confident when it comes to travel,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.