CANBERRA, Australia — International tourists and business travelers began arriving in Australia with few restrictions on Monday for the first time in almost two years after the government lifted 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.
Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan was on hand to welcome the first arrivals on a Qantas flight from Los Angeles which landed at 6.20 a.m. local time.
“I think there’ll be a very strong rebound in our tourism market. Our wonderful experiences haven’t gone away,” Tehan told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said all travelers’ vaccination status would be checked before they arrived to…