In April, Bendigo doctor Natasha Pritchard will once again be able to hug her parents, after an almost two-year wait.
Late last year, WA Premier Mark McGowan announced a February 5 reopening to interstate and international travellers, describing the date at the time as "locked in".
However, as Omicron roared across the nation in January, Mr McGowan back-pedalled on his decision, plunging thousands of families back into uncertainty.
Dr Pritchard and her husband were devastated, telling the Bendigo Advertiser in January they didn't understand the premier's decision.
"People who aren't affected dismiss not being able to see family for years as an inconvenience - it's not," she said.
"I've never seen my parents so unwell, they keep questioning what value they have in their lives if they can't see their children or grandchildren."
However, last Thursday, 697 days after the premier closed the state, the borders finally swung open - and Dr Pritchard booked flights immediately.
"We're so excited about visiting in April - it's our last family holiday before our third child is due, and we only have a couple of weeks off, so we wouldn't have gone if it meant quarantining," she said.
The Bendigo couple have two children already, one of which was born in 2020 - growth restricted and preterm.
"It was extremely hard with a husband working surgical hours to not just be able to have my parents fly over and help," she said.
She said the distance took a significant toll on both her and her parents' mental health.
"My parents are also going to visit in July when our next son is due," she said.
"It's a massive relief to know they will be able to help out, and they are very excited that they won't miss the birth of another grandson.
"Changing quarantine restrictions means they can come for short periods and help out too - it just gives us a bit of certainty."
Dr Pritchard and her family will spend some time in Perth, before visiting the Margaret River.
The border re-openings come during a record COVID wave in the state, as they recorded more than 2000 infections on Sunday.
For families like the Pritchards, the unpredictability of the borders was unnecessary and stressful, and they are looking forward to moving on from closed border systems.
"It's just a bit disappointing that my family, as well as lots of other families, went through further stress and uncertainty about the upcoming year, considering they only delayed the border by 26 days in the end," Ms Pritchard said.
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