Australia opened its international borders fully on February 21, 2022, after almost two years of closure due to COVID-19.

The very first flight to touchdown in Australia after the borders reopened was operated by flag carrier Qantas, QF12 from Los Angeles, which landed at 06:20 local time in Sydney. 

“It’s fair to say we’ve all been waiting a long time to welcome visitors back to Australia. The thousands of international tourists arriving this week and many more over the coming months will help kickstart the tourism industry which has done it tough for the past couple of years,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in a statement. 

On February 21, 2022 alone, more than 50 international flights will arrive in Australia, including 27 touching down in Sydney.

Qantas says it expects to bring more than 14,000 passengers into Australia in the week of February 21-27, 2022 as quarantine and border barriers for international tourists come down.

Australia closed its international borders in March 2020, allowing only its citizens and residents to enter the country in an effort to contain the surge of COVID-19 cases. 

In the last week of January 2022, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinted in a radio interview that the country’s borders may open before Easter 2022, and the following week,in the first week of February 2022, the government announced that the borders would open on February 21, 2022. 

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Australia will reopen international borders beginning February 21, 2022, almost two years after it closed borders to international visitors.