First Quarantine-Free Arrivals From Tonga in 20 Months Touch Down at Auckland Airport Tonight.

The first quarantine-free arrivals from Tonga in 20 months will touch down at Auckland Airport this evening.

In coming weeks, flights from Tonga will be joined by arrivals from Samoa, Vanuatu and Tokelau travelling quarantine-free for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Manager Operations at Auckland Airport, Anna Cassels-Brown welcomed the return of quarantine-free links for communities here in New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands.

“Given the one-way nature of the arrangement, passenger volumes will be low, but for the families reconnecting it will be a wonderful first step towards two-way travel.”

Under the current COVID-19 Alert Level settings, access is restricted at Auckland Airport terminal buildings to just those who are travelling.

Ms. Cassles-Brown says, “Unfortunately, this means we won’t be able to allow people meeting their family and friends to enter the terminal. We know this will be disappointing to those who enjoy the excitement of the airport welcome – I know as staff these emotional homecomings are special too.

But to protect everyone’s health we ask that people only send along those necessary to transport their loved ones from the airport and instead celebrate their welcome safely at home, ” she adds.

Image credit: Air New Zealand