File Photo: Passengers arrive at Sydney International Airport. AFP
"The wait is over," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a Sunday briefing at the Melbourne International Airport.
Australia's opening to tourists is the clearest example yet of the government's shift from a strict zero-COVID approach to living with the virus and vaccinating the public to minimize deaths and severe illness.
Most of the country's 2.7 million coronavirus infections have occurred since the Omicron variant emerged in late November.
But with one of the world's highest vaccination rates - more than 94 percent of people aged 16 and over are double-dosed - there have been just under 5,000 deaths, a fraction of the rates seen in many other developed countries.