This Monday, passengers preparing to board the first flight, known as the Air Bubble, were moved by a move by the Australian and New Zealand governments to allow the two to travel without being isolated once they arrive at their destination. The event was broadcast live in the major media in both countries, with numerous live television broadcasts from airports.
The resumption of the trip led to many reunions and the separation of families since the borders closed a few years ago. 400 days Due to Govt-19, meet again.
Sydney and Auckland airports are filled with hugs and tears with Maori greeting cards saying “Welcome Home” or “Kia Ora”. 10,000 passengers on 30 flights.
“I’m going to scream, scream, cry, hug, kiss, feel happy all at once”, Denise O’Donogue, 63, said as he prepared to board the AFP at Sydney airport.
Before boarding the first flight to Auckland in Sydney, Heather Liberopoulos told the ABC Public Network where she would meet her sister, who missed the “funeral and graduation” of loved ones when she was stranded in Australia due to closed borders.
The traveler also said that there had been a “kind of default on returning home” for more than a year.
According to Lorraine Vrat from New Zealand, she was prevented from contracting the disease when she was with her family in Australia, and traveling back was “fantastic”. Glad to be homeBut we’ll miss our family in Australia so much, “he said.” We came to Australia to celebrate Christmas with our children … we had planned to return in February, but it was a dream come true.
Thousands of foreign New Zealanders live in Australia, and before the corona virus, many returned to the archipelago on a regular flight, which was just a three-hour journey.
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 giant letters on the slope of the airport runway in Wellington, New Zealand. Thus giving a unique welcome to all travelers.
Air New Zealand CEO Craig Suckling called the atmosphere before departure from Sydney Airport “electrification”. “It was a truly emotional lift,” he admitted.
Greg Foren, general director of the airline, 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 was announced on April 6. For the first time since March 2020, Australians will be allowed to leave the country. Unlike the New Zealanders, they have been able to enter Australia without the need for compulsory isolation since last October, although they had to spend the period of isolation upon their return.
The successful management of the epidemic in both countries was mainly due to the tight closure of their international borders since March last year, as well as the use of rapid preventive measures and monitoring of local epidemics.
Both Australia and New Zealand have indicated that they will continue to be isolated for two weeks in hotels and centers for travelers from other countries. “This is a world-leading agreement that opens the door to keeping COVID-19 out of 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 Jacinta Artern said.
Good conditions allow New Zealand to open other travel bubbles with the two Pacific nations that survived the plague, the Cook Islands and New York. For its part, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced on Monday that it was seeking to resume travel with other low – risk areas, such as Singapore and the Pacific.
Do not rush to reopen borders
However, these specific opening plans do not mean that both Australia and New Zealand will soon open their entire international borders.
Pending Morrison About 30,000 Australians stranded abroad were deported, Noted that his government “There is no urgency to open those boundaries” In order to avoid risks.
He hoped that after the first planned immunization campaign in October, the Australian president would gradually begin to open his borders. The vaccine was delayed due to problems with importing doses, their distribution and fear of side effects, so some experts believe that international flights will not be normalized until 2024.
For his part, Artern told Radio New Zealand on Monday that his government would implement “Different ethics” according to country of birth, By insisting that his government has a “country to country” structure.
Since the outbreak began, New Zealand has accumulated about 2,240 confirmed infections with 26 deaths, while Australia has so far recorded about 29,500 infections, including 909 deaths, most of which occurred in Melbourne in mid-September. 2020.
(With information from EFE and AFP)
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