Families reunited at Sydney Airport amid controversial new rules

Australia’s new COVID-19 rules may have angered the Chinese government, but at Sydney Airport the requirements were seen by its citizens as no more than a minor obstacle to the ability to reunite with loved ones on Thursday.

Flight MF801 from Xiamen arrived in Sydney just before 11.15am, marking one of the first flights from mainland China under the new COVID-19 restrictions.

Karen Cao greets her mother Jing in Sydney.

Karen Cao greets her mother Jing in Sydney.Credit:Rhett Wyman

The new rules require anyone flying from China, Hong Kong or Macau to have a negative rapid test taken within 48 hours of departure and come after the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Japan and South Korea have introduced similar testing requirements.

China recently reopened its borders after being closed for nearly three years, abandoning a COVID-zero policy marked by strict lockdowns.

Financial analyst Karen Cao, 25, said her parents – father Jinjan and mother Jing – are more than happy to undergo the pre-departure tests as it enabled them to travel to Sydney for the Lunar New Year.

Cao studied and worked in Sydney for eight years and had not seen her parents for four years prior to Thursday due to COVID-19.

“I’m really excited to see her,” she said ahead of their reunion.

“We chatted the whole time on video calls so they know I’m fine. You will stay with me for a month. They were really happy about that [the COVID screening] like they did just before they left. Everything negative.”

Traveler Angela Lee was also on the flight from Xiamen and went to her local hospital for a check-up.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/families-reunited-amid-controversial-new-covid-19-requirements-20230105-p5cak4.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Families reunited at Sydney Airport amid controversial new rules

Callan Tansill

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