Families and friends have been reunited with hugs and kisses,… as the long-anticipated quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand began Monday.
The two-way travel bubble comes more than a year after people were obliged to adhere to strict quarantine measures when travelling due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Although Australia has allowed visits without quarantine for travelers from New Zealand since October last year,… New Zealand has been requiring arrivals from Australia to go into quarantine.
Now with borders opened for both countries,… hundreds of passengers were filled with joy and tears as they headed to airports to meet their loved ones.
"Oh it's amazing, I have no words, I'm just so grateful that I could come back. I'm like shaking right now."
"Mixed emotions. Happy, sad, can't wait. Most importantly getting the kids to see each other and meet all the newborns that we haven't seen yet."
For some, quarantine-free travel was not something they expected to happen so fast.
"… I haven't been excited, I haven't looked forward to it, I haven't planned anything because I just didn't think it was going to happen but we're here so."
Under the new travel rules, passengers can travel freely without needing to take a COVID-19 test, or presenting a vaccine certificate.
However, people will be restricted from travelling if they have tested positive for COVID-19, or have flu-like symptoms.
The Prime Ministers of both countries also warned people that the travel measures can be revised with short notice in the event of a surge in infections.
Meanwhile, international arrivals from other countries must still undergo a two-week quarantine at a hotel,.. in both Australia and New Zealand.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.