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Blenheim teen catches Covid-19 mercy flight home after becoming stranded in Brazil

A Blenheim teen was preparing to spend an extra two months in South America, away from his family, after Covid-19 travel restrictions and border controls cancelled his flight home.

Isaac Foster in front of the Gramado City portal Source: Supplied

Fifteen year old Isaac Foster had already spent almost three months in Porto Alegre located in Southern Brazil on an overseas adventure. He works in a Brazilian restaurant in Blenheim and after expressing some interest to go on an exchange, his boss organised for him to fly to Brazil and stay with their parents.

Isaac had been there since the 13th of January and was meant to fly home to New Zealand on the 29th of March, but border restrictions saw that flight cancelled.

Luckily, his family who were quite concerned got him on a last-minute Government mercy flight home from Peru.

Though he has no coronavirus symptoms, Isaac is now safely tucked up in Auckland’s Pullman Hotel for the next two weeks under the Government’s new mandatory isolation requirement.

He told 1 NEWS he misses his family and looks forward to peanut butter on toast and Tim Tams which he couldn’t buy in Brazil.

Isaac with his host family in Brazil, Lucia (left) and Jorge (right Source: Supplied

“It's definitely good to be in New Zealand, it feels a lot better and a lot closer to home,” he says.

“My family were concerned. My seven brothers and sisters at home in New Zealand were quite concerned and especially mum and dad.”

He says it was sad to say goodbye to his host family in Brazil, Lucia and Jorge, but is happy to be home.

As of midnight on April 9, all Kiwis returning to New Zealand from overseas are now required to quarantine in a Government-provided facility for two weeks.

Before, New Zealanders who didn’t display Covid-19 symptoms were allowed to head home to isolate.

Isaac says he has a few things to do during the two weeks he has in isolation.

“It’ll definitely be long, possibly quite boring, but I do have a lot of schoolwork to do and catch up on.”