Emotional family reunions as Victorian travellers arrive in WA

Lydia Kypros did not know her Melbourne-based mother Veronica would be arriving in Perth until a few hours before she picked her up, and it was a tearful reunion after being separated for about one year.

“She got the last seat on the plane. She was flying standby and we weren’t sure until 8am if she was going to make it,” Ms Kypros told NCA NewsWire on Tuesday.

“It was very stressful … she was very lucky.”

The grandmother, affectionately known as Mimi, had not seen her almost two-year-old grandson Max in about one year.

“She’s going home before Christmas, but she’ll come back again soon after that,” Ms Kypros said.

Lydia Kypros with her son Max waiting for his Mimi (grandmother) to arrive in Perth from Melbourne. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Angie RaphaelSource:Supplied

The older Ms Kypros was emotional as she held her grandson and gave him many kisses.

“There’s no better feeling in the world,” she said as she snuggled him.

Ms Kypros had flown home to Melbourne suddenly in January because her father died.

“I haven’t been able to come back (to Perth) since, so it’s been a pretty traumatic year,” she said.

Veronica Kypros showered toddler Max with kisses upon her arrival in Perth. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tony McDonoughSource:Supplied

Ms Kypros said WA’s hard border was “understandable, but it didn’t make it any easier for us.”

“Normally I’m over here four or five times a year,” she said.

Under WA’s relaxed border rules, travellers from Victoria no longer have to quarantine for two weeks and many more travellers are expected to arrive in the lead-up to Christmas.

Veronica Kypros (short hair) is greeted by her daughter Lydia Kypros and toddler Max after she arrived at Perth Airport from Melbourne. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tony McDonoughSource:Supplied

Chris and Katie Newton, who have lived in Melbourne long-term, brought their young family to Perth for the summer.

Their son Archie, 10, said he thought Christmas would be extra special this year.

“I’m very excited to see my whole family that’s in Perth,” he said.

Mr Newton said he missed the Perth beaches.

“I reckon (we usually come to WA) about three or four times a year,” he said.

“It’s been two years since the last time we were here as a family. It’s a long time actually when you say it out loud.

“That’s a long time to not see everyone.”

An airport staffer disinfects part of the Perth Airport terminal on December 8, 2020 as travellers from NSW and Victoria arrived without the need to quarantine. Picture: Matt Jelonek/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Mr Newton said he backed the state government decisions about the WA border and Victoria lockdown, but added he was relieved to avoid quarantining in WA.

“Thankfully, the people of Victoria did a good job and the people of WA have done a good job, so we’re blessed,” he said.

“You’ve got to do the time in the sense of that’s the right thing to protect yourselves and protect the community.”

Many passengers wept as they were reunited with loved ones at Perth Airport on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tony McDonoughSource:Supplied

Kate Chamberlain and daughters Bailey and Piper greet their dad at Perth Airport. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tony McDonoughSource:Supplied

Kate Chamberlain brought her daughters Bailey, 7, and Piper, 5, to the airport to be reunited with their father, whom they had not seen in five weeks.

For the close knit family, that was a long enough separation.

“Daddy!” the girls squealed excitedly as they ran up to their father, who scooped them up into his arms.

The family had been living in Melbourne for four years and came back to Perth after Victoria’s lockdown.

Ms Chamberlain said her husband did not come with them because he had to tie up loose ends at work.

She said they were relieved he did not have to quarantine for two weeks like they did.

“At the end of this year, it was the icing on the cake,” she said.

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