After nearly two years of lockdown due to COVID-19, Australia fully reopened its international borders on February 21, 2022.
The first flight to land in Australia after the borders reopened was Qantas’ QF12 from Los Angeles, which arrived in Sydney at 06:20 local time.
“It’s fair to say we’ve all been waiting a long time to welcome visitors back to Australia. The thousands of international tourists arriving this week and many more over the coming months will help kickstart the tourism industry which has done it tough for the past couple of years,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in a statement.
More than 50 international planes will arrive in Australia on February 21, 2022, with 27 landing in Sydney.
As quarantine and border hurdles for international tourists are removed, Qantas aims to welcome more than 14,000 passengers into Australia during the week of February 21-27, 2022.
In an effort to curb the spike of COVID-19 cases, Australia closed its international borders in March 2020, allowing only Australian citizens and residents to enter the country.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison intimated in a radio interview in the last week of January 2022 that the country’s borders would open before Easter 2022, and the government stated the borders will open on February 21, 2022 the following week, in the first week of February 2022.