The NSW government officially eased quarantine arrangements for the double-dosed from Monday November 1 in a major sign the state was moving forward from the pandemic.
SQ221 from Singapore was the first flight to touch down at about 6am on Monday, followed by a Qantas service from Los Angeles. 
Sky News Australia reporter Kenny Heatley spoke to several passengers at the arrival gates who are now able to reunite with their loved ones – instead of being sent to a quarantine hotel.
Two people are seen embracing outside Sydney Airport as quarantine arrangements changed on Monday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dylan Coker
“I’ve got young kids here so I’m glad to be home. Haven’t seen them in 5 weeks so I can’t wait to go home,” one passenger said.
Another returnee said she was going straight to the hospital to visit her sick mother.
“It’s been really, really hard and especially since my mums actually sick and I’m actually going to be heading straight to the hospital,” she told reporters. 
“This was an impossible flight to get home and I’m so relieved to be on it.”
Passengers were filled with emotion as they touched down at Sydney International Airport. Picture: Supplied
A couple are reunited as early morning flights arrived from Los Angeles, Japan and Singapore. Picture: Getty Images
Another woman was just happy to be able to return home after two years away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m an Australian citizen and I haven’t been able to go back to my country. I’ve been able to travel to every other country except Australia. I haven’t been able to see my dad in two years and now he’s very very sick,” she said.
Australia’s international borders have been shut since March 2020. 
International arrivals into NSW no longer have to quarantine for 14 days if they are fully inoculated with a TGA approved vaccine, provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 of departure and within 24 hours of arrival.
‘Bring it on’: Sydney Airport ready for international travellers
The first Qantas flight, QF12 from Los Angeles, touched down in Sydney just after 6am on Monday.
“This day has been a long time coming for our people and our customers. It’s wonderful to see Australians able to reunite with loved ones after such a long time apart,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.
“It’s been very challenging time for our international crew, with many of them stood down since March 2020. We are in the process of standing up our Australian-based team members who are excited to get back to doing what they love.
“We are back in the air earlier than anticipated thanks to the millions of people who turned out in droves to get vaccinated. This made it possible for the Federal, and NSW and Victorian governments to open up Australia’s borders and remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers.”
From Monday November 1:
Travellers to NSW do not need to isolate if they are double dosed with a TGA approved vaccine, provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours or departure and another 24 hours of arrival
Travellers heading across the NSW and Victorian border will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days. The changes mean anyone currently in hotel quarantine who is fully vaccinated can leave today.
All other states will require arrivals to quarantine for 14 days
Citizens can now leave the country without having to apply for exemption for the first time since March 2020
Regional travel resumes in NSW

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