New Zealand has formally opened its border with Australia on Monday, local media reported.
According to state-run Radio New Zealand, hundreds of passengers from Australia arrived in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown and were warmly welcomed at airports.
“It is truly exciting to be able to welcome our Tasman cousins, quarantine-free, to Aotearoa in what is a world-leading travel arrangement,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters while attending a trans-Tasman bubble celebration at the Wellington International Airport.
“The bubble marks a significant step in New Zealand’s reconnection with the world and it’s one that we should all take a moment to be very, very proud of,” she said.
Earlier this month, Ardern announced to start quarantine-free travel with Australia and said the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from Australia to New Zealand is low and that quarantine-free travel is safe to commence.
Last October, Australia opened its borders and allowed quarantine-free travel from New Zealand after easing virus-related restrictions.
So far, Australia has reported 29,543 COVID-19 infections and 910 deaths, while New Zealand has registered 2,596 cases and 26 fatalities, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins University.