Tearful reunions filled Auckland airport on Monday as residents from Australia were ready to travel freely to New Zealand for the primary time in additional than a year.
The long-awaited Australia-New Zealand travel bubble means visitors did not get to quarantine on arrival.
Thousands of passengers were booked to fly between the two nations on Monday.
Both countries have contained Covid outbreaks and kept infection rates low, largely thanks to tight restrictions.
Excited passengers crowded airports in Australia for flights to varied parts of latest Zealand on Monday, with some rising before dawn to urge able to board.
Many buzzed with the anticipation of seeing loved ones, it had been a more somber occasion for others.
One of the passengers said, “My older brother gave up the ghost last week on Thursday, we couldn’t get there last week, but it’s given us a chance to travel back home today without quarantine so it’s good, very good to go and lay him to rest,” said John Palalagi in Sydney.
Australia and New Zealand shut their borders in March last year and brought in compulsory quarantine for returning nationals.
Since October, New Zealand travelers have been allowed to enter most Australian states without quarantine, though this had not been reciprocated amid concerns about sporadic Covid outbreaks.
To fly under the bubble’s rules, passengers must have spent 14 days before departure in either Australia or New Zealand. They must not be awaiting the results of a Covid test, nor have any Covid symptoms, amongst other rules.