Daily US Times: On Monday, tearful reunions filled Auckland airport as residents from Australia were able to travel freely to New Zealand as travel bubble between the two opens for the first time in more than a year.
The long-awaited travel bubble between the two countries means visitors no longer need to quarantine on arrival.
Thousands of passengers were booked to fly between Australia and New Zealand on Monday.
Both countries have contained Covid-19 outbreaks and kept infection rates low, largely due to tight restrictions.
Excited passengers crowded airports in Australia on Monday for flights to various parts of New Zealand, with some rising before dawn to get ready to board.
Passenger Dawn Tratt told: “I didn’t realise how emotional I was going to be today.”
While many passengers buzzed with the anticipation of seeing loved ones, for others it was a more sombre occasion.
John Palalagi said: “My older brother passed away last week on Thursday, we couldn’t get there last week, but it’s given us an opportunity to go back home today without quarantine so it’s good, very good to go and lay him to rest.”
Nirali Johal said she was going to see her partner for the first time in almost 2 years.
She said: “I couldn’t sleep last night, it has been very exciting. We are just… happy that it has happened and we’re able to live a normal life again.”