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Limited MIQ availability hampers Kiwis’ ability to return from Sydney

There's been an almost immediate spike in the number of Kiwi travellers trying to get home from Australia, and a drop in the number going the other way, since the Government suspended the trans-Tasman bubble.

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Air New Zealand says all seats from the Covid trouble spot of Sydney were snapped up overnight. Source: 1 NEWS

Air New Zealand says all seats from the Covid trouble spot of Sydney were snapped up overnight. But, some disappointed travellers say the latest disruption once again highlights the shortage of MIQ (managed isolation and quarantine) spots available.

A week-long government amnesty from MIQ for all Kiwis in Australia - except those in Sydney - has thousands rushing to get home.

For those in New South Wales, travel is totally dependent on MIQ.

Air New Zealand currently has five flights scheduled between Sydney and Auckland in the next two weeks, but the airline says only 400 people in total will travel due limited availability in MIQ.

Source: 1 NEWS

Air New Zealand says it's expecting an increase on the 9000 people already booked to return from Australia in the next week.

Experts say bursting the bubble is the right thing to do given the unpredictability of the virus and its spread across New South Wales.

“If we left the bubble open, we would be taking a chance and it would probably be a matter of time before Covid crossed the Tasman and made it into New Zealand,” said University of Canterbury Covid-19 modeller Michael Plank.