Whilst international travel has been restricted around the world, Australians and New Zealanders can now fly between countries as part of the new Trans-Tasman bubble.
Last Monday, about 1,800 Australians travelled to New Zealand without quarantine restrictions to reunite with their loved ones.
New Zealander, Ms Miranda Hayes who has lived in Barossa on and off for several years, said she is thrilled about the commencement of the travel bubble.
“Like me, my family are also very excited about it,” Ms Hayes said.
“I am proud of our countries for taking the right precautionary measures to ensure it happened safely.
“I have loved seeing the reunions so far.”
Last week New Zealand Prime Minister, Ms Jacinda Ardern said it is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia.
“The bubble marks a significant step in both countries’ reconnection with the world and it’s one we should all take a moment to be very proud of.”
Since the announcement, Ms Hayes said she is planning to organise a trip back to her home country.
“I can’t wait to give everyone a big hug, including my 95-year-old nanna,” Ms Hayes said.
“The last time I saw my family was Christmas time at Akaroa in 2019.
“My partner Nathan, brother Tom and I had just returned from travelling so it was really special to be reunited with my parents and extended family during that time.
“I can’t wait to see them again.”
After a year of tough restrictions, the travel bubble will open up new opportunities for tourism regions in both countries whilst aiming to keep COVID-19 transmission out of unaffected communities.
“Both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from COVID and two-way flights are an important step in our road out,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
Ms Hayes told The Leader it will bring a sense of normality back into our lives.
“I think the decision to open up the bubble was a great call,” she added.
“So many individuals and businesses have been affected by COVID-19.
“Hopefully people will make the most out of this travel bubble to ultimately get them back on their feet.
“It gives people hope and happiness during these unprecedented times.
“I hope we set a good example for the rest of the world.”
If successful, Australia and New Zealand will plan to open quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific to further support their economic recovery.
Through the evolving pandemic, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the risks of quarantine-free travel will be under constant review.