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Australia welcomes back tourists with toy koalas, Tim Tams

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Posted at 3:17 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 06:17:04-05

International tourists and business travelers are arriving in Australia after it lifted its final travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers.

Families are tearfully reuniting after separations of two years or longer forced by some of the most draconian pandemic measures of any democracy in the world.

Vaccinated travelers were greeted at Sydney’s airport by jubilant well-wishers waving toy koalas and favorite Australian foods including Tim Tams chocolate cookies and jars of Vegemite spread.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews says all travelers’ vaccination status will be checked. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 1.2 million people have visas to enter Australia with 56 international flights due to touch down in the first 24 hours of the border reopening.