There were heartfelt scenes at Sydney's international airport on Monday morning as the first quarantine-free flights touched down on Australian soil for the first time in 20 months.
However, despite the tearful reunions, the fight to get home isn't over yet for some people.
A man who landed on the first flight into Sydney is among those still facing hurdles to see loved ones, explaining to reporters he's been desperately trying to get home for two years to see his dying mother who lives in Western Australia.
Man hits out at WA Premier Mark McGowan
With hard border policies still in place stopping travel between NSW and WA, the man — who didn't give his name — urged WA Premier Mark McGowan to think of the mental impact ongoing border closures have on families.
"I am really scared and emotional because I really want to see my mum because the doctors say she hasn't got long," he tearfully told reporters on Monday.
"I am going to do whatever I can to see her," he continued.
"Mark, think of the people that are suffering (mentally) to see their family, that's also a health issue.
“We know we have to protect people’s lives but you have to bring families together. Please, it’s so important.
"We respect that you're trying to be safe, but everyone needs to be together."
Approved G2G passes are required to travel to WA, with exemptions granted on a case-by-case basis.
The WA government has yet to release a plan to reopen borders to states deemed high-risk, committing to set a date after the state has achieved a vaccination rate above 80 per cent for all people aged over 12.
Victoria and NSW open borders
Fully-vaccinated Australians could return home from Monday without having to quarantine as travel restrictions lift for parts of the country.
“Today some of the magic returned to our arrival halls; grandparents meeting grandkids for the first time, families reuniting, all of the scenes that have been absent for far too long," Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said in a statement.
"Additionally, Australians who have been waiting to reconnect with friends, families and loved ones overseas can now go freely, without needing an exemption."
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