Covid 19 coronavirus: Kiwis stuck in NSW after MIQ spots snapped up

A mother is desperate to be reunited with her three young sons who are stuck in New South Wales after getting caught out by the suspension of the Australian travel bubble.

Last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced the closure of the quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia for at least eight weeks as the Covid-19 situation worsened on the other side of the Tasman.

In New South Wales, Kiwis wanting to get home would have to spend 14 days in MIQ.

However, all spots in MIQ for travellers from the Australian state had been taken until August 8.

Paraparaumu mother Olivia Campbell said she felt powerless she couldn’t book MIQ spots sooner for her sons, aged 10, 7 and 4, and said flights were very limited.

“I’m really upset, I’m devastated,” she said.

Yesterday New South Wales reported more than 170 new community cases of Covid-19 – its highest daily total since the beginning of the current outbreak in Sydney.

Campbell said she accepted the risk in sending her boys to see their father in Ballina, south of Byron Bay, who they hadn’t seen in 18 months, and acknowledged there were others in potentially worse situations than her.

She also stressed the boys were happy and safe where they were – but expressed frustration she couldn’t find a path home for her boys, who are missing school.

“If there are no MIQ spots, and no flights, how are you going to get thousands of Kiwis stranded in New South Wales home?”

Joint Head of MIQ Brigadier Rose King confirmed all rooms made available for New Zealanders travelling from New South Wales between July 26 and August 8 had been allocated.

Kiwis in Australia who needed urgent consular assistance should contact Mfat emergency consular line at +64 99 20 20 20 from overseas or 0800 30 10 30 in New Zealand.

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