The move by the Australian and New Zealand governments to allow passengers who were emotional this Monday, ready to board the first flight known as the air bubble, to travel without isolation once the two have arrived on their journey. The event was the subject of great media coverage in both countries, with several live television broadcasts from airports.
The resumption of the trip led to several encounters and allowed families separated since the border was closed a few years ago. 400 days Due to COVID-19, see you again.
Warmth and cries filled the airports in Sydney and Auckland, with signs reading “Welcome Home” or “Kia Ora” greeting. 10,000 passengers on 30 flights.
“I scream, scream, cry, hug, kiss, feel happy at the same time”, Denise O’Donoghue, 63, told AFP at the Sydney airport as he prepared to board.
Heather Liberopoulos told ABC Public Network before boarding the first flight to Auckland in Sydney, where she will meet her sister, who missed the “funeral and graduation” when she was stranded in Australia as she closed borders.
The traveler also said he had been feeling “some sort of normalcy when returning home” for more than a year.
For Lorraine Rod, a New Zealander who was prevented from contracting the disease when she was with her family in Australia, the trip was “wonderful”. Glad to be homeBut we are going to lose a lot of our family in Australia, “he said.” We came to Australia to spend Christmas with our kids … we had planned to return in February, but it was a dream come true. “
Thousands of expatriate New Zealanders live in Australia, and before the corona virus, many took a regular flight back to the archipelago, a mere three-hour voyage.
On the other side of the bubble, a grandmother said she was “very excited” with tears because she was finally able to meet her grandson.“We’ve been waiting so long”He told New Zealand TV TVNZ.
Phrases “Welcome family”, Welcome Family in Maori, written in large letters on an airport runway in Wellington, New Zealand. Thus all passengers are given a unique welcome.
Air New Zealand CEO Craig Suckling called the “electrification” of the atmosphere before departing from Sydney Airport. “It was a real emotional upheaval,” he admitted.
The airline’s CEO Greg Foren described the day “Historical” People working in the tourism sector have been greatly affected. “This is a real change for the airline. This is the first day of our rebirthHe declared.
The formation of the air bubble, announced on April 6, It will allow Australians to leave the country for the first time since March 2020. Unlike the New Zealanders, compulsory isolations from last October could enter Australia unnecessarily, although they had to spend isolated periods upon their return.
The successful management of the epidemic in both countries is mainly due to the tight closure of their international borders since March last year and the use of rapid preventive measures and monitoring of local epidemics.
Australia and New Zealand both said they would still maintain two weeks of isolation at hotels and tourist centers from other countries. “This is the world’s leading agreement, which opens the door to the expulsion of COVID-19 from the community,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.
“This is a great day for families and their friends, and a significant step in reuniting New Zealand with the world.”New Zealand Prime Minister Jacintha Artern also said.
Good conditions also allow New Zealand to stay close to opening up other travel bubbles with the two Pacific countries that survived the epidemic, the Cook Islands and Niue. For its part, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack is seeking to resume trips with other low-risk areas such as Australia, Singapore and the Pacific, as announced on Monday.
There is no rush to update the boundaries
However, these specific start-up plans do not mean that both Australia and New Zealand will soon open their entire international borders.
Morrison, pending Repatriation of about 30,000 Australians stranded abroad, Noted that his government “No hurry to open those borders” In order to avoid risks.
He initially hoped that once the planned vaccination campaign in October was over, the Australian president would begin to gradually open his borders. Vaccination is delayed due to problems with dose imports, fear of their distribution and side effects, so some experts believe that international flights will not be possible until 2024.
For his part, Artern said on Monday that his government would implement Radio New Zealand “Different ethics” according to country of birth, By insisting that his government should have a “country-to-country” structure.
Since the outbreak, New Zealand has amassed 2,240 confirmed infections, 26 deaths, and Australia has recorded 29,500 infections so far, including 909 deaths, most of them since the outbreak in Melbourne in mid-September. 2020.
(With EFE and AFP information)
“Typical beer advocate. Future teen idol. Unapologetic tv practitioner. Music trailblazer.”