A Melbourne woman has enjoyed an emotional reunion with her dog after being separated for more than a year due to the Covid pandemic.
Mikayla Neil, 22, was kept apart from her fox terrier Tess for 18 months after strict border closures stopped her from returning to Australia from New Zealand.
On April 25, Ms Neil filmed Tess rushing towards her before jumping into her lap in a fit of glee.
Even after more than a year apart, Tess recognised her long lost owner straight away.
Mikayla Neil, 22, was kept apart from her fox terrier Tess for 18 months after strict border closures stopped her from returning to Australia from New Zealand
The travel bubble with New Zealand, which followed months of negotiations between the largely coronavirus-free neighbours, was hailed as a major milestone in restarting a global travel industry that has been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
New Zealand’s tourism industry was its biggest export industry before Covid-19, with Australians accounting for about 40 percent of the international visitors.
New Zealand has paused travel from Western Australia, cancelling two flights due to arrive on Sunday morning after the state recorded three new Covid cases.
The nation is poised to open its borders further, allowing quarantine-free travel to the Cook Islands this month.
On April 25, Ms Neil filmed Tess rushing towards her before jumping into her lap in a fit of glee
The New Zealand-aligned Pacific nation has been in negotiations for a travel bubble arrangement with Jacinda Ardern’s government for months.
Rumours over opening dates have been swirling since Ms Ardern and Cook Islands PM Mark Brown confirmed they were working towards a May opening.
Ms Ardern said she would give a date for the much-awaited opening later on Monday, following a cabinet meeting in Wellington.
‘We will be having that discussion around our readiness on both sides and be looking to provide a date later this afternoon,’ she said.
It’s not yet clear whether the arrangements would also allow Australians or travellers from Australia to visit the Cook Islands, which has not recorded a single case of COVID-19 through the pandemic.