South Australia opens borders to Victoria

When Ash McCall turned up to Adelaide Airport he stood teary eyed waiting for his girlfriend of three years to land from Melbourne.

The 24-year-old hadn’t seen her for nine months and was prepared with a bunch of yellow flowers to give her; because yellow is her favourite colour.

“It’s had its ups and downs (being apart) but she’s had time to focus on her first year at uni and I’ve had time to focus on my masters – it is what it is,” Mr McCall of Blackwood said.

“We both had the strength to push through and wait for this day. We’d use social media and video calls (to communicate).”

Ash McCall was very excited to see girlfriend Harriet Beard after being apart for nine months. Picture: Tait Schmaal.Source:News Corp Australia

Mr McCall’s girlfriend Harriet Beard moved to Victoria to start her first year of a nursing degree.

“We were unsure if she’d make it here for my birthday, which is in two days, so it’s good she’s got everything she needs to come over here.

“She’s leaving on the 5th (of December) but she’ll be back for Christmas.

Miss Beard said she was over the moon to be home because she had been forced to can three other trips back to SA.

“It’s been a journey! I was just so excited (to come home),” she said.

There were lots of hugs at Adelaide Airport as the first flight from Melbourne landed since the borders reopened on December 1. Picture: Tait Schmaal.Source:News Corp Australia

The couple were not the only people to be reunited after South Australia lifted its hard border restrictions with Victoria on Tuesday.

Travellers that arrived into Adelaide Airport were greeted by Adelaide Fringe performers, the Gospo Collective — who sang a number of Australian anthems, and were invited to “get on the beers” being gifted a slab of Coopers on the way in.

Joel Astle, who arrived from Melbourne this morning, was happy to grab a free carton of Coopers. Pic Tait Schmaal.Source:News Corp Australia

Victorian resident Elle Holtham, 34, met her four-month-old nephew Arlo for the first time.

She normally sees her family, who live in SA, regularly but has not been able to for months due to border restrictions.

“He is so beautiful! I’m just so happy to be home. It’s amazing,” Ms Holtham said.

“It’s been hard … I’m going to spend my time here with family and have lots of baby cuddles.”

Elle Holtham met her four-month-old nephew Arlo Taylor for the first time. Picture: Tait Schmaal.Source:News Corp Australia

Her sister and Arlo’s mother, Georgia Taylor, said she hadn’t seen her sister since February.

“It’s been hard, especially with the baby, it has been so upsetting,” she said

“She tried to cross the borders before the lockdown but she couldn’t get through so it’s been a long time coming. “We weren’t getting excited until today so we knew it was going to happen.”

Elle was happy to see her sister Georgia Taylor and nephews Finn, 3, and Arlo. Picture: Tait Schmaal.Source:News Corp Australia

Victorian travellers made up 47 per cent of all domestic overnight visitors in SA last year, worth about $1 billion to the state’s economy.

South Australian Tourism Commission Chief Executive Rodney Harrex said Victorians coming to the state was incredibly important for tourism.

“This what the travel industry is about. It’s about connecting people (and) bringing people back together again,” he said.

“Virgin has a flight coming in tomorrow and further flights will be put on as demand grows.

“The ability to open up to Victoria, when we’ve seen what this year has been like for Australia and around the world, is such an important statement and a step forward as we move towards Christmas.”

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