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Australia quarantine-free arrivals mark start of 'long march back'

Hugs and tears of joy as loved ones reunite, but travel restart just beginning

International arrivals reunite with loved ones at Sydney Airport after the easing of border restrictions on Nov. 1.   © Reuters

SYDNEY -- Bear hugs, shrieks and tears of joy set the scene at Sydney Airport early on Monday, as the first wave of COVID-free Australian citizens and permanent residents returned home without needing to quarantine, following the easing of tight international border restrictions.

The gradual reopening of one of the world's most closed-off countries brings fresh hope for the travel industry, though certain Australian states are being more cautious and a full-fledged tourism restart will take time.

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