Australia reopens its borders to fully vaccinated visitors.
On Monday, the smiles were larger than the country as Australia fully reopened its international borders to travelers vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The long-awaited reopening ended nearly two years of pandemic-related closings as tourists returned and hundreds of family and friends engaged in tearful reunions.
Over 50 international flights will arrive throughout the country on the first day of reopening, including 27 visiting Sydney, its largest city.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in the island state of Tasmania, "It is a very exciting day, one that I have been looking forward to for a long time, from the day that I first shut that border right at the start of the pandemic."
Australia will now look to rebuild tourism which s one of Australia's biggest industries. The tourist industry is worth more than A$60 billion ($43 billion) and employs about 5% of the country's workforce.
Once a strong proponent of COVID-suppression strategy, the Australian leaders began to shift away from its relentless lockdowns late last year and began living with the virus after reaching higher vaccination levels.