Returning Australians touch down in Sydney as COVID-19 restrictions on international flights are eased


Tearful reunions have returned at Sydney Airport for the first time in 20 months with landing Australians able to hug relieved family and friends waiting to greet them.

From this morning, hotel quarantine and the cap on arrivals have been scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers.

Fourteen international flights are expected to land in Sydney today.

One of the first passengers to land was desperate to see his sick mother.

“I am really scared and emotional because I really want to see my mum because the doctors say she hasn’t got long,” he told reporters.

Passengers are required to take a COVID-19 test before boarding and again upon landing.

Priority has been given to Australian citizens and permanent residents and their immediate families.

The borders are not yet open to overseas tourists and international students.

“Today Sydney has reopened Australia to the world,” NSW Jobs, Investment and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said.

“It is so great to be here in the arrivals hall seeing the smiles on people’s faces, the heartfelt, warm embraces of family members reuniting for the first time in many months.”