The first flight was in service on Monday between Sydney’s Australian capital and New Zealand’s Auckland. Although New Zealanders have been able to travel to Australia without being isolated since October, they have had to be alone for two weeks on their return trip to New Zealand.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Artern described the joint communications bilateral agreement as “unique in the world” and a “win-win situation” for both countries. In Queenstown, New Zealand, on the South Island, the first passengers from Australia were greeted with music and a free bungee jump from the local Kauraw Bridge.
Both states closed passenger borders in March 2020. With a few exceptions, only its own citizens and residents were allowed into the country.
New Zealand is considered a model country in crisis due to very drastic measures and precise communication tracking. In the island state of 4.8 million people, nearly 2,600 cases have been reported so far, with 26 deaths related to Govt-19. For a long time this was again mostly normal.
Australia is also very successful in dealing with the epidemic. Authorities have so far confirmed 29,500 cases and 910 deaths in a population of more than 25 million.