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NZ border worker tests Covid positive on second day of bubble

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A mother embraces her daughter upon her arrival from New Zealand at Sydney International Airport

Trish Stamoulos, about to head to New Zealand from Sydney Airport, told the Seven Network that her daughter, who is only 16, had been in New Zealand for over a year. For the countries' governments and travel-related businesses, the opening marks a crucial step toward recovery - though there is still a long way to go.

Qantas will ramp up flights between the countries to about 200 each week, while Air New Zealand said it had quadrupled its flights to 30 on Monday, with its airplanes flying into New Zealand 97% full.

Though most Australian states have allowed quarantine-free visits from New Zealand residents since late a year ago, New Zealand had enforced isolation for arrivals from its neighbour, citing concerns about sporadic virus outbreaks there.

Passengers arriving in Auckland were met with "Welcome Whanau" signs - the Maori term for family - and a choir provided a score for emotional reunions.

The total number of active cases reported in New Zealand today is 86.

There are no new community cases of COVID-19 to report today, the Ministry of Health said but the airport worker, classified as a border case, tested positive.

"That is, safely opening up worldwide travel to another country while continuing to pursue a strategy of elimination and a commitment to keeping the virus out".

A woman hugs her daughter and grand-daughter at Sydney International Airport
A woman hugs her daughter and grand-daughter at Sydney International Airport Credit Jenny Evans /Getty Images AsiaPac

"With 60,000 Kiwis living on the Gold Coast and the region rating highly on travel wish lists of New Zealand residents, we expect these services to be extremely popular in both directions", Mr Mills said. - AFP A family takes photos before their flight for New Zealand at Sydney International Airport on April 19.

The travelers are required to complete a health declaration ahead of departure and return a negative test in the 14-day period.

More than half a million New Zealand-born people live in Australia, just over 2% of Australia's population of near 26 million.

The first flight from Auckland into the Gold Coast arrived around 10.30 am, with the first service back to Auckland departing around midday.

She said the day marked a turning point and people were excited, adding: "You can feel it at the airport and see it on people's faces". - AP A family reunites upon their arrival from New Zealand at Sydney International Airport on April 19.

"I think this is going to be very important for the tourism and travel industry on both sides of the Tasman, as well the very practical issues of families being able to reconnect".

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