Had mild Omicron — hoping for return of quarantine-free travel
A former Gisborne man is urging the Government to change its approach to quarantine-free travel from Australia.
After experiencing mild symptoms from the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in Melbourne, Aaron Bingham is hoping for the return of the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble — without the need for a stay in managed isolation facilities.
“Our family has been struck by the Omicron strain here in Australia,” he told The Herald.
“All very mild symptoms and hoping New Zealand opens its borders soon to Australia, so we can return to Gisborne for a holiday.
“It was a relief to just get it, particularly knowing it's milder and would build our immunity to other variants.
“We noticed Sophie our seven-year old had a fever on Sunday and took a rapid antigen test. She was positive. We all subsequently showed symptoms in the coming days, along with positive tests. So far, all symptoms have been relatively mild, including slightly raised temperatures, headaches, runny nose and lethargy, almost identical to a bad cold.
“Everyone we know who has tested positive has had similar symptoms and it's clear that Omicron is much milder than the Delta strain. It looks like cases will peak in the next couple of weeks because so many people are getting it, as it's more infectious, with a steady decline from there.
“We are hopeful New Zealand will abandon any thoughts of an ongoing ‘zero Omicron' approach and open up its borders soon. We are keen to return home for a holiday to see our friends and family across in Gisborne who we haven't seen for three years.”
The family originally had flights booked to visit Gisborne in 2020 and then also for Christmas 2021, which had to be cancelled when the travel bubble with Australia “popped”, Mr Bingham said.
Since then Aaron and wife Alisha have been waiting for borders to open, as they did not want to go through MIQ with their young children.
The Government had originally planned to reopen MIQ-free travel with Australia in January but last month Cabinet pushed that date out until the end of February.