Canberrans stranded at the Victoria-NSW border for a week because of coronavirus travel restrictions are finally arriving home.
Anne Cahill-Lambert was among the first people back in the ACT on Thursday, happily speaking to the media from a safe distance as her dog Honey looked out the back window.
She and about 100 other homecomers must now self-isolate for 14 days after being checked by police.
The ACT residents were stuck in the Victorian border town of Wodonga after they were suddenly banned them from driving home through NSW.
The NSW government was concerned about Canberrans spreading the virus while stopping for fuel.
The impasse finally ended after ACT chief minister Andrew Barr hatched a plan to get them home.
It included a police escort and a brief pitstop at a nondescript spot north of Gundagai.
Mr Barr said the delay was regrettable.
“We understand just how frustrated those Canberra residents are, but, look, after many days of negotiation with the NSW government, we were able to get an outcome,” he told the ABC.
“I’m very relieved they’ll be able to commence their journey back home this morning and then we’ll check them in at the ACT-NSW border, and then they can go into their home isolation for two weeks.”
Canberrans have four days to return and must travel between the hours of 9am and 3pm with strict protocols in place.
Residents were met by police at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the ACT, where they were given supplies for quarantine.