New Zealanders overseas advised to stay put, as the window for flying home has 'almost completely closed'

New Zealanders overseas advised to stay put, as the window for flying home has 'almost completely closed'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering where they are, rather than trying to return home. 

“Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying home was closing,” Peters said.

“A week later, it has now almost completely closed.

“It has become very difficult to return to New Zealand from all around the world.

“Many of the hubs we usually rely on to get home are no longer available, as countries such as Singapore prevent transits by foreign nationals through their airports. We must recognise that measures like these are part of the international effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.”  

“We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are. This includes following the instructions of the local authorities and the advice of the World Health Organisation.

“Those few Kiwis who still have the option to return to New Zealand should continue to work with their airlines to seek flights as a matter of absolute urgency. 

“The feasibility of Government-assisted departure flights is being considered, but there are no guarantees these will be possible in the extremely complex and rapidly changing global situation.”

Peters said the Government remains committed to helping New Zealanders overseas and consular assistance will be provided wherever possible. All New Zealanders overseas should register their details on SafeTravel, and review the website regularly for the most up to date advice for New Zealanders overseas.

There were 40 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Tuesday, and three probable cases.

This brings the total number of confirmed and probable cases up to 155.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

7 Comments

Bummer. Tough Luck really. Hope they stay safe and can return soon.

Loads didn’t make it home and could be a while as lots of airlines are going to go under in the next couple of months.

Loads didn’t make it home and could be a while as lots of airlines are going to go under in the next couple of months.

My daughter is in California with her boyfriend and seems happy. She has a good job and thought the risk of catching wuhan flu on flights was more than staying put. Going to do some camping and chill but still busy at work. Town has changed with all the shops shut and most millennials have no idea how to cook once pizza hutt, in and out burger and Bandido burrito shut there all going to stave, which would in most cases be a good thing. Lots of noodles will have run out ages ago.
Gun shops have sold out so shouldn't be much trouble, just some self inflicted toes shot.

Andrewj: she'll be OK, she's young and young victims are exceptionally rare from all accounts.

I'm 72 yrs and I live in a central Auckland suburb with a 96 yr-old mother who was late last week admitted to hospital with an infection unrelated to the virus. I have also taken in my sister aged 67 yrs who has a lowered immune sister from a chronic illness. So, I'm the shopper, and what annoys me is that I still can't buy hand sanitizer or face masks at our local pharmacy or P'N'save at the Royal Oak Mall which is brassing me off; all the Chinese tend to be wearing masks, god knows where they get them from!

I shopped at Greenlane Countdown today and at least they had hand sanitizer available at the entrance and the store was more sparsely populated.

go to the vet and you should find 5 litre bottles of anti bacterial and anti virus one is called anti germ. mixes at 50 ml per litre so 5 litres should last you a while. I use it at lambing time of when dealing with horrible stuff on farm.
They also sell 1 litre bottles of iodine which we use on horses but should work too, PGG and Farmlands sell it too.

Yea, don't come even if you can.. as our robust border screening proven in action. That how many percentage the positive tested came from? (yip, overseas visits).. very tiny/unverified yet about even the possibilities of local/community transmission - As far as I'm concern? those young but 'carrier' visitors/returning kiwis, once they've back here then back to the newly cool habit of Vaping? it's enough to flaunt those little bugs via those tiny water droplets vapour, cool yea.. do it in public, across the intersection, pausing, puff the cloud smoke.. ended up being inhale, touch the eyes, mouth.. of unsuspected local member of community... which hardly being categorised as travel from/to abroad recently. Now, please don't argue on the level of lung vapour etc. yet - I'm stating a simple viruses in the mouth cavity touched the vaping pen, then puff in/out - I never seen young/teenage Vaping artist using that old classical Audrey Hepburn smoking pipe/extension device - look odd isn't it - So? Vaping factory? please, pay me for that input, as If I did not say it? you shall be at the wrath of this worldwide Covid scape goat. And may be? you need to design vaping handy mask extension which can be used to safely blow the vape into, so it's not clouding people breathing space near by, again drop me a line if you want me to design one for you... at a cost.