Emotions were strong in the separated families, as the border was closed for nearly 400 days due to Coronavirus pandemic, Who managed to meet for the first time.
The New Zealanders have been stranded since December
“This is a great day for families and their friends,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in her welcome. Its effective policy to fight the Coronavirus, In both countries, which made this corridor open. Before the pandemic, Australians made up the largest proportion of foreign tourists, 40%, who traveled to New Zealand, with around 1.5 million tourists arriving in 2019. On the first day of the corridor construction, most of the passengers were returning from New Zealand. The number of tourists is expected to increase during the upcoming school holidays in Australia, scheduled for a few weeks.
The event was the subject of wide media coverage in both countries on Monday, with several live TVs from the airports. The words “Hello Wano,” Welcome to the family are written in the Maori language, in block letters on a bridge near a runway at Wellington Airport. For Lauren Watt, a New Zealander stranded by the epidemic while with her family in Australia, it is “wonderful” to be able to travel again. “We arrived in Australia on December 11th to spend Christmas with our kids … We had planned to go back in February, it was a bit of a nightmare.”
Be careful though
Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand expats live in Australia, and before the coronavirus outbreak, many traveled regularly to the archipelago. The journey takes three hours. Australia is also studying the possibility of creating travel “bubbles” with Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, while New Zealand is working to allow unrestricted access to small Pacific nations such as the Cook Islands and Tuvalu.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also raised the possibility that Australians who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will travel abroad by the end of 2021. Upon their return, they can thus monitor the quarantine period at home rather than forcing them to stay for two weeks in isolation in a hotel. “The idea that one day everything opens, is not the way it will happen,” Scott Morrison is furious. “This will be done in a prudent manner, by working hard on medical and sanitary procedures.”
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