Australia on Monday reopened its border to all fully-vaccinated international travelers for the first time in almost two years, after first shutting it in March 2020 in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Tourists, business travelers and all other visa holders meeting the double vaccination requirement were allowed to enter the country from Monday, with some 56 flights expected to touch down throughout the day.
"The wait is over," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters at Melbourne International Airport on Sunday, adding that more than 1.2 million people around the world have been issued with visas and are ready to visit Australia.
The first visitors arriving at Sydney International Airport on Monday were greeted with gifts of Vegemite, toy koalas and kangaroos.
Arrivals will still be subject to varying quarantine requirements including self-isolation and caps on the number of daily new entrants from overseas imposed by each of Australia's states and territories, Morrison said when announcing the reopening earlier in February.
The outbreak of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Australia has apparently passed its peak as the country reported 17,708 new daily cases on Sunday, compared to 155,370 on Jan 14.