Cheers and a round of applause erupting from Sydney Airport

It’s been eight months since Vai Vaagh saw her parents, and she hopes that when she sees them, she won’t “ugly cry” or pass out.

In February, her dad flew to New Zealand and her mom joined him when Ms. Vaagh ‘s uncle became ill in March. The nation went into lockdown two days later.

The family thought that the lockdown would soon be over, but eight months later, the parents of Ms. Vaagh had only just made it home.

They were on the first flight under a new one-way travel bubble from a country where they won’t need to be quarantined upon arrival.

Sydney Airport exploded into cheers and a round of applause as the first traveller from New Zealand stepped through the gates. The passenger was one of about 350 people who touched down at Sydney Airport on three separate flights on Friday.

Ms Vaagh said her heart was pounding out of her chest before the flight landed and she could not wait to hug her parents. As soon as Lagi and Salapo Tuaia walked through the door, they were embraced for a long time by an emotional mother and daughter.

They decided to spend the rest of the day with the family, meeting their great grandson for the first time with Mr and Mrs Tuaia.

“Coronavirus hit in the beginning of the year. For all of us to be under one roof by the end, that’s got to count for something,” Ms Vaagh said.

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