“(I’ll) yell, scream cry, hug, kiss, (feel) happy -- all of these emotions at once,” Denise O’Donoghue, 63, told AFP at Sydney airport as she prepared to board her flight.
The arrangement means that for the first time in almost 400 days passengers can fly across the Tasman Sea without undergoing mandatory COVID-19 quarantine when they arrive.
“It’s a very big day and exciting for families and friends,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who hailed the success of both countries in containing the virus as a key factor in allowing the travel corridor.
Australia was New Zealand’s largest source of international tourists before the pandemic, accounting for about 1.5 million arrivals or 40 percent of total visitors in 2019.
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