Australians hug at Sydney Airport as quarantine scrapped and international flights resume

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Emotional reunions at Sydney Airport as first quarantine-free flight touches down and Australia’s international borders open up after 590 days

  • International travellers touched down in Sydney airport as NSW border opens
  • First overseas flights touched down at Kingsford Smith Airport before dawn
  • Fully vaccinated arrivals no longer have to quarantine in a hotel or at home 


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International travellers have touched down at Sydney airport as the border to NSW re-opens in a landmark day for the state’s COVID-19 response.

The first overseas flight touched down at Kingsford Smith Airport before dawn on Monday.

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Under the change, fully vaccinated passengers won’t have to quarantine in a hotel or at home, paving the way for Australians stranded overseas to be able to come home for Christmas.

Meanwhile, fully jabbed people in NSW can from Monday start travelling freely between Greater Sydney and the regions.

International travellers have touched down at Sydney airport as the border to NSW re-opens in a landmark day for the state's COVID-19 response

International travellers have touched down at Sydney airport as the border to NSW re-opens in a landmark day for the state’s COVID-19 response

The first overseas flight touched down at Kingsford Smith Airport before dawn on Monday

The first overseas flight touched down at Kingsford Smith Airport before dawn on Monday

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The lifting of intrastate travel restrictions will allow families to reunite for the first time in months and marks the return of regional tourism.

‘For the first time in a long time, grandparents will be able to visit grandkids … many people will be reunited,’ Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Sunday.

He’s confident it’s a safe time to allow Sydneysiders back into the rest of the state, with double dose vaccination coverage now nearing 88 per cent.

As of Saturday, 83.6 per cent of eligible NSW residents aged years and over 16 had received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and 87.7 per cent were fully vaccinated.

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Monday will also see the state’s vaccine booster program open to adults who received their second jab six months ago or longer.

Pfizer doses will be available from pharmacies, GP clinics and state-run hubs across the state.

Nationally, rapid antigen tests also become available on Monday.

Under the change, fully vaccinated passengers won't have to quarantine in a hotel or at home, paving the way for Australians stranded overseas to be able to come home for Christmas

Under the change, fully vaccinated passengers won’t have to quarantine in a hotel or at home, paving the way for Australians stranded overseas to be able to come home for Christmas

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The changes come as NSW continues to see virus case numbers and hospitalisations fall, after lockdown rules began to be eased three weeks ago.

Some 177 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 statewide in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, 59 fewer than the day before and the lowest daily tally in more than three months.

Now 340 people are in hospital with the virus, including 78 in intensive care.

One death was announced on Sunday – an unvaccinated woman in her 70s from southwestern Sydney.

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