Australia welcomes back Tim Tams and toy koalas from Australia

On Monday, international tourists and business travellers arrived in Australia without restrictions for the first time since the government lifted some of its most severe pandemic measures.

Australia welcomes back Tim Tams and toy koalas from Australia

The airport was filled with jubilant well wishers who waved toy koalas, Australian food favorites and Tim Tams chocolate cookies.

Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan welcomed the first passengers on Qantas' flight from Los Angeles at 6.20 AM local time.

"I believe there will be a strong rebound in our tourist market. Tehan stated that our wonderful experiences aren't disappearing," Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.

Karen Andrews, Home Affairs Minister, said that all travelers would have their vaccination status checked before arriving in order to avoid another similar visa disaster like the one suffered by Novak Djokovic, Serbian tennis player.

Djokovic received an automated visa before he left Spain for the Australian Open in January. However, he was deported from Melbourne after he arrived there because he wasn't vaccinated against COVID-19.

Phillipa Harrison, Tourism Australia's managing director, stated that it would take at least two years for tourist numbers to recover to pre-pandemic levels.

Harrison stated, "This is a great start." "This is exactly what the industry had asked us for, you just need to give us your international guests back and then we'll take it from here."

Qantas was flying passengers from eight destinations, including London, Singapore, London and Delhi, to Vancouver on Monday.

Alan Joyce, chief executive of the Sydney-based airline, said that bookings have been strong ever since the announcement by the federal government two week ago that there were no restrictions.

Joyce shared the following statement with Nine Network television: "It's been difficult two years for everyone in the tourism industry. But today is really one the big steps back to a complete recovery so we're very excited about today."

Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, stated that 1.2 million people have visas to enter Australia. There are 56 international flights scheduled to land within the first 24 hours after the border reopens.

To prevent COVID-19 from being brought home, Australia placed some of the most severe travel restrictions in the world on permanent residents and citizens.

Tourists had to apply for an exemption to the travel ban. However, tourism was not an acceptable reason. In November, the Australian government relaxed the restrictions on border crossings to allow skilled migrants and international students to enter the country. This was in response the increasing number of Australians who have been immunized. Tourists from South Korea, Japan, and New Zealand were also permitted to enter the country early.

Australian states and territories have their COVID-19 rules. The strictest are enforced in Western Australia, which includes a third of the island continent.

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