Coronavirus Covid 19: uncertainty over New Zealanders stranded in Sydney
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there was still a level of concern over how this virus has spread “fleetingly” between some cases. Video / Sky News Australia
New Zealanders stranded in Sydney after New Zealand quickly closed its borders with New South Wales as it deals with growing number of Covid-19 cases are now preparing for extended stays on the other side of the ditch.
Last night, Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins put an end to the non-quarantine travel bubble arrangement with New South Wales as the number of community cases in Sydney continues to rise.
The break went into effect at 11:59 p.m. last night and is expected to last 72 hours. The decision will be reviewed on Thursday.
Some travelers only discovered their return flights had been canceled hours before they left after receiving a call from their travel agent just before 9 p.m. last night.
Travel agent Melissa Irvine said she had several clients in Sydney who were about to return home, so as soon as she saw the ad last night she called them to let them know.
A woman who was due home this morning was unaware of the change and asked Irvine to extend her hotel accommodation and book a flight for her on Saturday before they were picked up.
Irvine also had other customers who had booked their flights for next Tuesday.
His two clients were also preparing to extend their stay, as it seemed increasingly likely that the non-quarantine travel arrangement would continue after Thursday night.
Geoff Best, 46, has been living in Sydney since October last year. He gave a review on his apartment last week and planned to return to Bay of Plenty within the next two weeks.
The project manager said the hiatus from non-quarantine travel has turned his plans upside down and, if necessary, is preparing to spend two weeks at MIQ in New Zealand.
“It certainly has an impact on my plans at the moment, like when am I actually going to be able to return?” “
He said the restrictions in NSW were not too severe and there was just a greater requirement on wearing a mask.
“Life is pretty much the same right now.”
Hipkins said the decision was made due to several unknowns, including a contagious case in the Sydney community and an elementary school-aged child with no clear link currently established.
This comes at the same time as the resumption of non-quarantine travel between New Zealand and Victoria.